Cafe Connect earns top volunteer award

editorial image

Fraserburgh’s Cafe Connect has been recognised with a Volunteer Friendly Award.

The local charity, based on the town’s Broad Street, has earned the coveted three-year accreditation for the standards it has achieved in working with its volunteers.

Support co-ordinator Gwen Urquhart told the Herald she was delighted for everyone at the cafe to receive the award from Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.

She said: “This award is recognition for the efforts and standards Cafe Connect has attained in developing our various volunteer roles, undertaking a range of training and assisting our volunteers at every stage.

“We have around 20 volunteers with us aged from 16 to 70 who come with disabilities or mental health conditions.

“Our volunteers are referred to via care management or through Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action and we carefully create work plans for each individual.”

Since Cafe Connect was founded eight years ago, it has had more than 70 placements, with eight of those volunteers having gone into paid positions in various workplaces.

Gwen explained: “As well as the hospitality side, we also have an IT suite which helps our volunteers to learn new skills and this can act as a stepping stone to employment.”

Open from 9.15am to 3.15pm Monday to Friday, the cafe serves a range of hot and cold drinks, homemade soups, sandwiches, toasties and paninis along with a selection of tasty treats.

It also exhibits the work of local artists.

It is operated by Fraserburgh Community Web, a voluntary organisation which provides work experience and training opportunities for adults with disabilities.

The cafe maintains www.visitfraserburgh.com which is central to the project’s desire to act as a base which benefits Fraserburgh and its community in undertaking physical regeneration, promoting cultural enterprise and tackling economic and social disadvantage.