More than 50 young folk with intellectual disabilities have worked at Roots UCC
It’s a popular spot on campus.
Roots UCC, a coffee shop set up by Cope Foundation to provide work experience and employment opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities, has celebrated its third birthday by applauding all the past and present staff that help run the show.
Located in the university’s student centre, The Hub, up to 50 people supported by Cope Foundation have obtained work experience since then.
Fifteen of these employees went on to secure full-time employment as a result of the skills learned at the coffee shop.
One of two cafes run by Cope Foundation (the first Roots coffee shop opened next to Beech Hill Garden Centre in Montenotte in 2018), sustainability is an important part of Roots UCC.
There are no disposable takeaway cups and any food that is not sold on the day is donated to staff and students.
New skills and new mates
“I can now make flat whites and mochas and I’ve made a few friends along the way,” said John Paul from Bandon, who has been part of the team for more than a year.
“I’m currently looking for proper work so hopefully someplace will be hiring, they will have a look at my CV, think that it looks good, and give me a job.”
Sean Abbott, Chief Executive of Cope Foundation, said Roots UCC offers a fantastic opportunity for the people supported by Cope Foundation to learn invaluable skills in a busy working environment:
“Not only are they learning how to make a great cup of coffee but they’re dealing with the public every day and these interactions are so important in their development,” he added.
Roots UCC is open from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.