Te Tuhi Cafe nominated for national awards

The Te Tuhi team, from left, Janice, Sammy, Simon, Tom and Bill.

The Te Tuhi Cafe has been nominated for national accessibility awards.

The Pakuranga cafe on Reeves Road has been nominated for the Access Matters People’s Choice Accessible Business Awards in two categories: Accessible Employment and Accessible Tourism and Hospitality.

Te Tuhi is Aotearoa’s first training cafe for people with intellectual disabilities and is run in partnership with Rescare Homes Trust and the University of Auckland.

Rescue Homes provides supported residential accommodation and vocational support for people with intellectual disabilities to provide them with more independent living.

Each participant has a training plan with goals and targets used to track their progress and development which is designed by the University of Auckland.

Trainees have said that starting work at the cafe was daunting but ultimately rewarding.

“I was worried about doing the money, but the staff helped me learn,” trainee Debra Mciver says.

Other trainees see hospitality as a natural career move.

“I have others in my family who are in hospitality, so this was a great opportunity for me,” trainee Tom Russell says.

The cafe and its trainees have been supported by customers of Te Tuhi and the Pakuranga community.

The Business Awards are presented by The Access Alliance.

It aims to recognise businesses and organisations “that go the extra mile to enable all people to fully participate in society”.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on June 15.

“Trainees and customers alike will have their fingers crossed,” Te Tuhi says.