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Launchpad is all about developing skills and abilities. Every trainee sets their own personal achievement targets, which are celebrated once achieved. We take photos and videos to show how the trainees are progressing, and with these we create a visual CV for each trainee as a tangible record of their progress. This can be used as a CV to take to potential employers, or simply as a record of achievement. 
In the kitchens trainees are encouraged to take part is as much as they can to be actively involved in the day-to-day running of a commercial kitchen and cafe. They are trained in all aspects of food hygiene and safety, food preparation, washing up and maintaining cleanliness to a high standard. In the cafe, they take on customer service, including using the till, serving food and drink and clearing and cleaning tables. 
In the garden our trainees are planning, planting, clearing, mowing and weeding. We also have a number of winter projects to complete, including building compost heaps and raised vegetable beds. Trainees are supported not only by the staff but also by an amazing band of volunteers. 
I’m so pleased that we found Launchpad! 'J' is a low support needs Autistic with good academic ability and we’d imagined he would be able to find suitable local employment when he finished college, but after many months of unsuccessfully applying for retail, bar and café work his confidence was low. We realised his Autism might be more of a barrier to employment than we’d expected, and also that his CV was lacking in practical experience. 
Not sure where to turn for guidance, I discovered Launchpad and made contact to see if we could combine efforts to help 'J' move forward. He went along for a trial, and was keen to begin his training. 
The team at Launchpad treat their trainees with respect and kindness. Their experience in working with a range of learning differences meant they soon evaluated 'J’s' capabilities. Their gentle encouragement has been just what 'J' needed and he’s really thrived during his placement at Wesley’s. His confidence has visibly improved and he’s been able to discuss options for further development, which they've readily encouraged. 
Trainees also have the opportunity to work towards qualifications in food hygiene and first aid in collaboration with Action For Life
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