Team JJ of Café JJ are a group of twelve learning disabled adults who, working as long term committed volunteers, run a community café which opened in October 2007. They are a hard working team who provide the local community with good quality low priced delicious meals. Despite their disabilities, each team member contributes 10-14 hours of volunteer work every week. They come to their volunteer work full of enthusiasm and eager to get on with the job. Through their dedication they have made Cafe JJ a success which provides meals to 60-90 customers every Tuesday. They inspire others in the community who have learning disabilities to have ambitions and to set themselves goals by presenting a positive image of disabled people.
Through removing barriers, Team JJ are changing the sometimes negative attitude of the community towards disabled people as the customers can see that disabled people are hardworking, skilled and give back to the community. Providing a service to the community gives Team JJ members self-esteem, a focus in their lives, and an opportunity to gain catering qualifications. Team JJ of Cafe JJ are unique as they are a group of disabled adults “doing it for themselves” instead of relying on others and they provide a service to the non-disabled community. They have recently been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is the highest award given to voluntary groups and is the equivalent to an MBE.