Yellow Submarine’s goal is to help teenagers transition into adulthood able to access mainstream services, socialise independently and engage in meaningful work. In short, to be able to ‘do more’ but to ‘need less’ from the state or charities such as ours.
Our success achieving our goals has been greatly helped by a successful social enterprise we run in Oxford. On the ground floor is a café which over the last year has been lauded by both the press (Oxford Mail’s Café of the year, runner-up) and by the public (currently number 3 restaurant in Oxford on TripAdvisor out of over 495).
The café’s staff team includes four young people with learning disabilities who are apprentices, and a further 4 who are trainees. Above the café is a workshop which provides weekly meaningful opportunities to a further 23 young people with disabilities. The same building hosts our transition clubs, which were recently judged Oxfordshire’s ‘Youth Project of the Year’. The café, with over 30,000 customers, has attracted both volunteers and corporate support. The magic of what has been achieved is the entire site is now financed by the trade generated through the café and it’s catering business.
We’re at the exciting stage now where we’ve been given a mandate by our trustees to look for premises and opportunities to open a second Yellow Submarine enterprise and hub. Our key criteria for a premise are:
It must have good public transport links, so our beneficiaries can reach it independently (with training where needed)
Beyond the public facing side of the enterprise, there must be additional space, where we can do training, meetings, clubs etc
It can be of any nature – not just a café – we’d potentially be interested in sites that used to be pubs, guesthouses, garden centres– anything which we believe we can make commercially work whilst meeting our charitable goals.
We’d welcome being put in touch with possible sites or business opportunities, potential donors and/or your thoughts as to where geographically we’d meet the greatest need. Please contact Toby.
It's hard to exaggerate the effect this experience has had on me. I really do look at the world differently now.