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Disabled cafe manager thanks generous members of community for support

PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 April 2017

Jackson's Cafe trainees and staff in fancy dress en route to see Grease at Cliffs Pavillion in Southend. Picture: Dawn Loveday.

Jackson's Cafe trainees and staff in fancy dress en route to see Grease at Cliffs Pavillion in Southend. Picture: Dawn Loveday.

Dawn Loveday

The manager of a cafe that employees people with learning disabilities has thanked generous members of the community for their support.

Burglars targeted Jackson’s Cafe, High Street, Romford, and stole a safe containing £1,200 and theatre tickets for the 31 trainees to see the stage show of Grease at Cliffs Pavilion, South End.

But the venue’s staff honoured the tickets and members of the community rallied round and more than replaced the cash stolen.

Manager Tracey Brennan said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic.

“The theatre treated us like VIPs.

“The public have been really generous. It’s unbelievable.”

A Go Fund Me page was set up by Shannon Kaitell, 23, of Romford, whose sister works at the cafe.

People with learning disabilities are employed on a two-year NVQ course which teaches skills such as food preparation and working front of house.

Shannon raised managed to raise £690 on the charity page and a family who came into some money after their father died, also donated a cheque for £1,200.

“People came in off the street,” continued Tracey.

“A man said some people can be bad but here’s a tenner.

“We are completely overwhelmed. While there’s a few bad people out there, the love and warmth that we have been shown, kind words and support.

“It’s not just about money but support.”

Burglars shattered the glass door to enter the cafe, which has been open for 25 years, and stole the safe between 11pm last Monday and the early hours of Tuesday.

“We all feel completely overwhelmed and lucky that we are part of a community that cares so much,” she said.


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