Skills-Boosting Jobs for Pupils, Financial Support for Riverside School

Riverside School in Orpington is an inspirational place for pupils with special educational needs. The school aims to make sure that everyone who passes through leaves as confident, lifelong learners.

About the cause

Riverside School is an excellence-driven, supportive place for pupils with special educational needs. One of the school’s aims is to ensure everyone who spends time there leaves as confident, lifelong learners who are set to succeed, flourish and leave their mark on society. This they do courtesy of a bespoke package of profoundly personalised support and helpful initiatives.

One such initiative dreamt up by pupils and staff was the launch of a community café. The aim of the café was to provide skills-boosting jobs for pupils, and to drum up financial support for the school to help fund further initiatives.

The café became a hands-on project for the pupils, who created their own business plan so that they could pitch for funding.

How we helped

As long-term supporters of Riverside School, we were keen to support their café venture, and so we agreed to fund a range of necessities, such as a display fridge, a hot display case, a counter and a cash register, together with aprons and catering hats. This was all done as part of our Twenty for Twenty anniversary programme.

Associate Partner Shane Jeeves also delivered short courses in basic hygiene and customer service to ready the children for their new roles.

The outcome

For the children, the café presented a golden opportunity to develop new skills. From making the furniture to choosing the background music, and from deciding which items to buy to taste testing and making food, to waiting tables and working the till, the skills developed throughout the entire process have, according to the school, been ‘incredible to see’.

The café has provided jobs for pupils, as well as acting as a way to support the school financially and creating a welcoming place for the wider community to enjoy a bite to eat, a drink and a good chat.

Our social value committment

The Riverside Lounge provides an amazing opportunity for pupils to develop vital skills and build confidence that could easily shape their futures in a workplace setting.

This is an opportunity that fits perfectly with our vision of helping children and young adults to build their confidence and realise their full potential in all aspects of their lives.