Rebecca & the farm shop

How Sunnyside has helped me become more independent and employable.

Rebecca came to Sunnyside Rural Trust in 2013 as a trainee. When trainees first join Sunnyside they are given the opportunity to work in different settings within a variety of activities such as gardening, cooking and retail. Rebecca didn’t feel entirely comfortable working in big groups on gardening days, she was very shy and quiet. However, when she was given the opportunity to work in the café and farm shop at Hemel Food Garden, she began to come out of her shell.

Rebecca learnt how to serve customers, make toasted sandwiches and hot drinks. She first started working in the café just two days a week, but because she enjoyed it so much and became good at it, she was offered a paid role by Sunnyside and is now in employment three days a week.

“I love everything about working in the café, from interacting with customers to preparing food and making drinks,” says Rebecca, “Sunnyside made me feel very welcome and I immediately felt safe and was then able to learn new skills and make new friends. My parents think I have come a long way since starting at Sunnyside.”

Kealey Henderson, Rebecca’s mentor at the café and farm shop said, “Rebecca’s confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. When she first started at Hemel Food Garden, she was very shy and quiet, now she is interacting with customers and staff at ease.  Her independence has also improved hugely; she is now able to travel on her own on public transport with no problem whatsoever. It is a joy to have her in the team.”