Town centre cafe in need of customers

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A bread company set up to help people with learning disabilities find work has appealed for people to use its town centre cafe.

The Real Bread Company, which makes artisan loaves at its bakery at Pontefract Family Centre, needs more customers to use its cafe on Gillygate.

The organisation was launched to help people who would struggle to get a job from the average employer, providing training to help them into work.

But it has struggled to attract funding during the first year after opening.

John Hughes, the Harropwell Lane family centre’s manager, said: “We’re not considering closing at the moment, but we are struggling for funds.

“We have been unable to attract any major funding and we were relying on that to pay salaries for a year to get us under way.”

The cafe and bakery were set up with cash from the Coalfield Grants Programme and funding from Barclays.

Mr Hughes said finding new funding would allow the organisation to take on more employees.

He said: “As far as the bakery goes, they learn skills for baking artisan loaves, and that is a niche market.

“In the cafe they will learn kitchen skills and serving customer skills.

“The idea is we’ll train people who may never have had a job before and enable them to move into full time employment.”

Donna Leach, manager of the Gillygate cafe, said the venue had a welcoming atmosphere for customers.

She said: “The help we need is for people to come and use the cafe. It is one of the friendliest cafes in Pontefract.

“You will be served by a person with learning disabilities who will greet you at the door and the food is amazing.”