‘It’s changed my life’ - the Norwich café busting barriers
- Credit: Archant
Adrian Young-Yallop has not had a stable job for more than a decade and spent two years living in homeless hostels in north Norfolk.
The 43-year-old has learning, mental and physical difficulties and served a six-month prison sentence, making finding employment almost impossible.
But now, thanks to a cooking training course offered by The Feed, a social enterprise café on Prince of Wales Road in Norwich, Mr Young-Yallop's life has transformed.
Mr Young-Yallop, who is based in Fakenham, said: "It's changed my life. Everyone has noticed that I'm a brighter person. I now having something to look forward to. My life was really up and down before."
Catherine Wright, another trainee with The Feed who is from Mousehold Heath, said: "The Feed really supported me when I was low. I was shy when I started but I've grown in confidence and I've now got a smile on my face."
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As a mother-of-four, with children aged between two and a half to 11, she had not been in employment for a "good few years" as she raised her family.
The 31-year-old was often told by potential employers that she "didn't have the experience" and, as a woman with a disability, suffered from discrimination.
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But the course created a "supportive environment" and has boosted her prospects and confidence.
She added: "I was really sad when the course ended as I didn't want to leave."
She now volunteers one day a week at The Feed Café on Prince of Wales Road and has big plans for the future.
Ms Wright said: "My best friend and I want to open a café with a photography studio at the back "
Mr Young-Yallop is also volunteering and works at the café in the King's Community Church in Norwich.
He added: "If you get the chance to do the scheme at The Feed you should jump at it."
The catering trainee scheme at The Feed was launched five years ago and is for adults who face barriers to employment.
The month-long course teaches food hygiene, food preparation and involves work experience at a Norwich-based restaurant or cafe.
Recent graduates have gone on to secure full-time employment at firms such as Kettle Crisps in Bowthorpe.