Some skills development with your muffin?

Hout Bay Association for People with Disabilities (APD) clients, from left, Melanie Court, Chandre Daries and Eshile Nikelo display their baked goods in the kitchen.

The Hout Bay Association for People with Disabilities (APD), formerly known as Hout Bay Bethesda, is home to a new coffee shop run by APD clients as part of their skills development programme.

Office administrator Delia Petersen said the aim of the coffee shop was to do hospitality training and help their clients gain new and useful skills in a safe environment, tletting them focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities.

Through the protective workshops, the clients are taught how to bake, make coffee and tea as well as how to serve the public.

“The idea is to make them sustainable and to teach them how to run their own businesses by using the skills they have been taught,” she said.

Ms Petersen said although the training can be challenging at times it was very rewarding and the centre wanted to make people look differently at disability.

“Disability does not mean inability,” she said.

The coffee shop – which opened earlier this year – can accommodate about 20 people and APD clients bake fresh muffins every day (except Fridays) using organic ingredients such as carrots from the centre’s own vegetable garden.

The coffee shop is open to the public from 8am until 3pm and serves tea, coffee and hot chocolate. A variety of cakes are also available on order and the tables are beautifully decorated with fresh lavender from the garden.

Ms Petersen said they preferred the public to call in advance before visiting the coffee shop so they could make sure they had everything in stock.

During the Sentinel’s visit to the coffee shop on Friday October 14, there was great excitement in the kitchen where clients eagerly showed off their kitchen equipment and where all the baking gets done.

Ms Petersen said the coffee shop was testimony to the positive impact skills development and social and economic integration had on the lives of people with disabilities.

The organisation has its roots in Hangberg and since its humble beginning in the early 1990s at the Hangberg Clinic, the team has transformed the lives of many of their clients (“Bethesda Hout Bay changes lives,” Sentinel, December 4, 2015).

The centre accommodates between 20 to 25 clients, mainly from Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu, daily.

They are collected every morning from their homes and transported to the centre where they enjoy two meals a day and are taught various skills such as needlework, gardening and beading in a safe and welcoming environment at the Hout Bay Community Church. And at the end of each day, each client is taken back to their home.

Hout Bay APD is a non-profit organisation and the centre develops an independent living plan for each client focussing on community-based rehabilitation and referrals to appropriate community resources.

For more information about Hout Bay APD, call Delia Petersen on 021 790 7037.