Oxfordshire charity Yellow Submarine has won a national independent award run by Not On The High Street founder Holly Tucker to continue its great work helping people with learning disabilities and autism live life to the full
Many people with learning disabilities leave school with limited life skills and as a result poor life chances. This often leads to isolation and being marginalised. Yellow Submarine’s project start working with young people in the community settings from the age of 11 onwards, to build their social skills, confidence, independence and ultimately their employability. At the same time, Yellow Submarine supports families and carers with respite.
The team are celebrating their win in The Independent Awards 2022 represent best-in-class examples of UK small businesses. Both the public and expert judges chose Yellow Submarine’s life changing café as the High Street Shop Award winner.
Yellow Submarine has been overwhelmed by the support for the nomination. The votes from customers and supporters led them to be a High Street Shop Award finalist, but never could they have imagined bringing home the top prize on Thursday evening.
Enterprise development manager, Sophie Bradley watched the awards ceremony live from her home with her two young children and was delighted to discover Yellow Submarine had won the £10,000 prize fund after being announced as category winners. On the live awards feed run by Holly Tucker, founder of Not On The High Street, an emotional Sophie said: “The café team have worked so hard over the past 10 years changing the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism as well as providing our customers with delicious coffee and home-made food. To receive this recognition and prize fund will have such a huge impact on our social enterprise!”
The café opened in 2013 to provide a stepping stone into employment for individuals with learning disabilities and autism. Over the years the café has grown and they now bake their own cakes and have an online store to send them across the country. The cafes have now supported over 50 trainees through traineeships and training programmes, graduates have gone on to achieve wonderful volunteering and paid roles within the Oxfordshire community.
The Independent Awards finalists were voted for in a nationwide vote and the winner were chosen by a panel of esteemed judges who are experts in the small business field. On Yellow Submarine winning the High Street Shop Award Jo Fairley, founder of Green & Black said “Yellow Submarine makes me feel proud of how the world really is changing in positive ways – contrary to what newspaper headlines might lead us to feel. I truly wish I lived closer, because I’d be getting my coffee there EVERY DAY.”
Yellow Submarine will be taking their win proudly into 2023 as they celebrate the cafe’s 10th birthday and support more trainees with their journey to employment.