Windmills is a social enterprise cafe in the heart of Motherwell with a reputation for quality food and family friendly customer service. The Cafe provides a community hub for local groups and finacially supports the charitable aims of Windmills Lanarkshire.

Windmills Lanarkshire's commitment to the development of the young workforce has been enshrined since the commencement of the organisation.  In 2006, a group of pupils from Firpark School, Motherwell formed a committee determined that young people with learning disabilities should have equal access to meaningful work experience opportunties, and so Windmills was born.

Over these years Windmills has developed award winning teaching resources which allow young people with learning disabilities, including low literacy groups, to achieve main stream qualifications and 'hands on' experience.  In addition to this, we recognise that many young people with learning disabilities enter adulthood with limited life skills and as a result poor life chances, often leading to isolation and being marginalised.  Windmlls Lanarkshire are dedicated to playing their part in supporting these young people to build life and social skills, confidence, independence and ultimately employability.  In addition to the opportunities we provide for work placements and traineeships, in 2016, we were pleased to lauch our Modern Apprenticeship Scheme which we look forward to developing further in 2017 and beyond.

The Scottish Government's Opportunities for All and Post 16 Transitions Data Practice Framework have made an explicity commitment to offer a place in learning or training to every 16-19 year old in Scotland.  Windmills is aware that transitions are difficult for all young people but particularly for those whith learning disabilities and are therefore delighted to be working with Additional Support Need Schools and Units in North and South Lanarkshire to support young people in preparation for and during their post school transition.

It is widely recongised that some young people have particularly complex additional support needs and may not, therefore be able to take up employment.  For this group, volunteering can be a positive option and research suggests that poeple with learning disabilities approach volunteering as they would, formal, paid employment and offer a significant amount of time to voluntary organisations.  Windmills offers trained, meaningful and valued volunteering roles which are stimulating and rewarding.  In 2016, we were delighted to be awarded the Investors in Young People award reflecting our commitment to good practice.

We believe that young people with learning disabilities deserve to live life to the full and we are working together for that bright future.


Scottish Registered Charity:  SC03982

Limited Company:  329065

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