A community café run by students from New College Lanarkshire has celebrated its first birthday.
Located in St. Mungo’s Parish Church Hall in Cumbernauld Town Centre, ‘The Wee Scone’ is run by students on NCL’s Introduction to Practical Employment course to help them make the transition into further education or employment – while benefitting the local community.
The team of students, pupils and lecturers celebrated the milestone with a birthday party at the café with invited guests from NCL, Glencryan High School and North Lanarkshire Council.
The celebration commenced with a special performance from the Sunshine Choir - made up of students from the NCL’s Faculty of Supported Learning and their support workers. They sang This is Me from the Greatest Showman, theme tune I’ll Be There For You and Scottish classic, 500 miles.
They ended the performance with a rendition of Happy Birthday while The Wee Scone students cut the birthday cake. Guests then had the chance to experience the students’ hospitality skills with afternoon tea.
Nicola Mulholland, Assistant Head of Faculty for Supported Learning at New College Lanarkshire, said: “New College Lanarkshire prides itself on providing equal opportunities for everyone and The Wee Scone is an amazing example of this.
“The Café gives young people the chance to put their skills into practice, building their confidence and getting them ready for a positive future. At the same time it is also proving to be a much loved part of the local community and the support has been unbelievable.
“Our students impress us every day and I am so proud of all they have achieved in The Wee Scone in the past year.
“Thank you to Daniel Lafferty and Lucie Armstrong who made the dream into a reality and help our students every day to achieve great things. Thanks also to Claire Campleman whose determination helped get this project off the ground.
“Finally thanks to Louise Canavan and all at Glencryan who work tirelessly with us to ensure that all students have access to fantastic post school opportunities.”
The Wee Scone offers students the chance to experience a realistic working environment while completing their SVQ Hospitality Services qualification - helping to develop professional cookery, numeracy, literacy and enterprise skills that could pave the way to employment in the hospitality industry or further study at the College.
Nine pupils are currently taking part in the Introduction to Practical Workplace Skills course, spending one day a week working in the café and two days at college.
Louise Canavan, Depute Head Teacher at Glencryan School, who is responsible for co-ordinating post-school transitions, said: “It’s incredible to think what’s been achieved in just one year, we’re grateful for the huge support we’ve received from the local community, particularly everyone involved with St Mungo’s Parish Church.
“Our aim was to provide young people with additional support needs a pathway to move into paid employment within the hospitality industry and that’s exactly what we are doing. At the same time we’re also providing a quality service to people who live and work in the area and we’d like to encourage people who haven’t yet visited us to come along.
“Pathways for students, moving on from ‘The Wee Scone’ has included, a Modern Apprenticeship at Windmills Café and paid employment at Tim Hortons. I have no doubt we will see many more of these positive destinations at the end of the course in June 2020, with help from our employment support partner, Routes to Work.”
Opened to the public in February 2019, The Wee Scone opens for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea from 10am to 2pm on Thursdays during term-time.
To book a table at the Wee Scone café, please call 07881 944864. View the menu here.
New College Lanarkshire offers a range of supported programmes. For more information, visit: https://www.nclanarkshire.ac.uk/courses/supported-learning