Makers Cafe and Community Hub now open in Alloa!
Thursday 1 February 2018 saw the Grand Opening of Makers in Ludgate, Alloa, by Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health. Makers, part of national charity Scottish Autism, is a new community hub that will house a cafe with a kitchen garden, a shop and gallery, as well as space to accommodate events and workshops for community groups. Individuals that access Scottish Autism services will have the opportunity to work in Makers, providing an environment in which they can directly experience the workplace.
Jackie Latto, Scottish Autism’s Director of Autism Services, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister to the opening of Makers today. This is Scottish Autism’s 50th Anniversary year and we are incredibly excited about this development for both Scottish Autism and Alloa. Autistic people will be directly involved in the running of Makers, and this will provide them with the opportunity to boost their confidence and independence, along with providing an opportunity to learn vocational skills. It demonstrates how autism services are evolving; enabling autistic people to lead full and enriched lives and become valuable members of the community they live in.
Jackie continued; “We also hope to attract external bodies and community groups to Makers to use its wonderful multi-purpose hub space, bringing more people into Alloa and the local environment.”
Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health said: "I am delighted and honoured to officially open Makers Cafe and Community Hub today. It is an inspiring, nurturing space that people who access Scottish Autism’s services will benefit enormously from. It is also a fantastic boost for Clackmannanshire and the surrounding area.”
Scottish Autism’s Service Manager for Central Area, Jill Ferguson, commented:
“We are thrilled to welcome the Minister to the opening of Makers today, alongside many of our friends and supporters.”
“Our community café uses locally and socially sourced produce and offers a delicious range of breakfast, coffee and lunch options for our customers. There is also a shop and gallery showcasing the work of many of the talented artists and makers that Scottish Autism support within Central Area Services. In addition to providing much needed vocational opportunities for people with autism and learning disabilities, we hope that Makers will provide a welcoming space that nurtures supportive relationships with our local community. We’re aiming to create a wonderful community café that becomes a destination for the people of Clackmannanshire and further afield.”
Makers was previously run by ‘Reachout with Arts in Mind’, and was taken on by Scottish Autism at the end of last year Scottish Autism have been working to create a contemporary and multi-functional community space, although investment has been kept to a minimum thanks to being able to utilise existing kitchen equipment that was previously donated to Reachout by the Coalfields Regeneration Trust.
Scottish Autism has seen great results with Café Kudos which they have run for over 10 years in Carluke, Lanarkshire. The autistic people that work there have experienced a boost to their confidence and independence, whilst gaining the opportunity to learn vocational skills. It has also become an integral and valued part of the local community in Carluke and it is hoped that similar success is achieved from Scottish Autism’s new venture at Makers in Alloa.
For more information about Makers please visit www.makersalloa.org