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Local charity set to launch 'Harrogate Chocolate Factory' cafe

A Harrogate charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and autism is set to launch a chocolate-themed cafe. The 'Harrogate Chocolate Factory' cafe is aiming to open at the start of July near the Odeon cinema in the former Big Red Bike Company building. Created by charity Harrogate Skills 4 Living Centre (HS4LC), the initiative aims to support people with disabilities who have been unable to find work due to the pandemic. The cafe, which cost around £100,000 to renovate, will provide yet another programme for adults with learning difficulties alongside the charity's 'Harrogate Chocolate Factory' venture. https://www.facebook.com/HgateChocFactory/posts/309375867357520 Hadyn Moorby-Davies, CEO of Harrogate Skills for Living, said on the Your Harrogate Podcast:

"Our mission is about overcoming inequalities for adults with learning difficulties and autism, so the idea of the cafe as a social enterprise was to help support people with learning difficulties and autism to get the skills knowledge and build confidence in a work environment.

"It’s going to be open to the public and we’ve got a couple of weeks where we’re just familiarising ourselves with the environment and getting everything finished off, then we’re going to open to the public hopefully the first week in July."

Harrogate Skills for Living launched the Harrogate Chocolate Factory in 2019, although the staff are not customer-facing and operate in the charity's kitchen. [caption id="attachment_11719" align="aligncenter" width="750"] The Harrogate Chocolate Factory sells dark chocolate made from Peruvian cocoa beans.[/caption] The new cafe, which has been in the works for more than two years, will help staff with learning difficulties build confidence by interacting with customers. Hadyn added:

"The cafe has taken two and a bit years to get to this point but we felt it fitted strongly with our strategy and is something that we felt very passionate about.

"The employment market is a very difficult place for people with learning difficulties and autism but we hope that with the platform, opportunities and the support that they can get from our different programmes that they will get the confidence and the skills they need."

Find out more about Harrogate Skills for Living and the programmes available to adults with learning difficulties and autism here.

Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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