Social enterprise creates 21 new jobs by winning hospitality contracts for two major Belfast leisure centers

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Orchardville roles will be located at Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh Recreation Centers

Northern Ireland-registered charity and social company Orchardville is looking for 21 full-time and part-time hospitality workers for its new cafes in two Belfast leisure centers.

Cafes at Better’s Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh Recreation Centers will provide training opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism to acquire skills that will improve their employment prospects.

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Julie Bolton, General Manager, Andersonstown Leisure Center, Colin Thompson, Restaurant Manager, Orchardville, Oscar Gallagher, Orchardville Attendee and Adrian Walker, Partnerships Manager, GLL

Orchardville won the contacts in September 2021 following a call for tenders led by GLL, which operates 14 leisure centers under the “Better” brand.

The partnership follows the contract he won for GLL’s north Belfast wellness center, The Grove, in 2019 when it employed 11 people. It also represents a huge endorsement for the organization that already operates Orchard Café in East Belfast.

Speaking of the contracts won and the new roles, Joan McGinn, General Manager of Orchardville, said: “Orchardville is delighted to once again be working closely with GLL to operate the Andersonstown and Lisnasharragh Leisure Center cafes.

“We believe that with the right support, anyone with a learning disability or autism can reach their full potential and achieve their career aspirations. The cafes will provide meaningful work experience opportunities for people with learning disabilities and / or autism who wish to work in the restaurant, hospitality and tourism industry.

“We are currently recruiting up to 21 new positions, including catering assistants, catering supervisors and cooks. “

GLL manages the Belfast City Council Leisure Center portfolio, which includes 14 separate locations. As part of the £ 105million recreation transformation program, many sites have undergone major overhauls and recently reopened to the public during the pandemic.

Discussing the Orchardville Cafes projects, Adrian Walker, Director of Partnerships, GLL, the non-profit charitable social enterprise, continued, “We are very pleased with the success Orchardville has had in running the Grove Wellbeing Café. delighted to have once again succeeded in our call for tenders for the two new sites. Including another vibrant social enterprise in our supply chain is at the very heart of what we stand for. As an inclusive organization, we look forward to supporting more local people with meaningful employment in our centers. “

Orchardville’s new Orchard Café in Andersonstown will be located in the new £ 25million site, which opened in 2020, displaying NI’s largest indoor recreation water area featuring three slides, a surf simulator and a water play area for children next to two swimming pools, a gym, three studios and outdoor locations. It currently has nearly 1,800 members with a capacity of 500,000 visits per year.

Meanwhile, Orchard Café in Lisnasharragh, a £ 20million East Belfast facility that launched in 2019, will serve an annual attendance of 500,000 people.

Orchardville will first begin its recruitment process for the Andersonstown Center complex, with workers scheduled to arrive there from November 2021. Meanwhile, those selected to work at its Lisnasharragh site will take up their duties in January 2022.

The organization has already held a recruiting day for Andersonstown Recreation Center positions, but will host another dedicated recruiting in October for positions at its Orchard Café in Lisnasharragh.

From offices in East Belfast, Bangor, Lisburn and Derry, Orchardville also facilitates work and vocational skills, wellness support, life and work skills, OCN (Open College Network) accredited training, services school transition, internships and paid employment.

Orchardville was recognized for its efforts in creating employment opportunities for marginalized communities, winning a national award in December 2019 when it won the gong in the Education, Training and Employment category at the Social Enterprise UK Awards, which were held at the Guildhall in central London.

It works by using a culture that employment is one of the most tangible ways we can meaningfully include people with learning disabilities and / or autism in our society.

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