Surbiton restaurateur offers work experience to people with disabilities

Katie Liddle with chefs Madalin Costache and Khalid Ben Taouil

Katie Liddle with sous chef Madalin Costache

First published in News This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A Surbiton restaurateur is offering work experience to people with disabilities.

Miranda Hoogewerf, owner of Langley’s, has been teaching new recruits how to cook and wait on diners at the Ewell Road restaurant.

The scheme has been set up in partnership with Surrey County Council’s supported employment service EmployAbility.

So far, students from Dysart School in Surbiton, St Philip’s in Chessington and Linden Bridge in Worcester Park have tasted life at the forefront of the catering and service industry.

Mrs Hoogewerf said: “Although young people with disabilities are very well supported in this country, this support comes to a grinding halt from the age of 19.

“The aim of the initiative is working towards an integrated community, where disabled people work alongside able bodied people.

“It is not a big onus on businesses. We are not asking businesses to take disabled people on but to take them for a couple of hours a week for them to gain skills and then employment.”

Interns at Langley’s are currently aided by a picture exchange communication system in the kitchen preparation area, which especially helps those with autism.

Anyone interested in helping can call Carol Jennings on 020 8547 6984 or email jennifer.brown@surreycc.gov.uk.

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