Plea for help from Carluke’s Cafe Kudos

Donald at work in Cafe Kudos  submitted pic August 2016
Donald at work in Cafe Kudos submitted pic August 2016

Only weeks after a Lanarkshire service for those with autism was closed, another project – this one in the heart of Carluke – needs help to keep going.

Café Kudos has been a popular place for everyone to enjoy delicious food in a friendly atmosphere since it opened in 2005.

Along with the staff, who are employed by Scottish Autism, seven of the charity’s service users aged between 27 and 42 work at the café.

The café – the Greek word kudos was chosen as its name to reflect the glory and the rise in self esteem of those working there – is an ideal setting in which they can flourish, providing valuable life, social and independent living skills with the staff there to provide support.

But after 11 years of intense use, the kitchen is no longer ‘fit for purpose’.

Isobel Mannering, a Scottish Autism staff member working there, said; “We desperately need to get work carried out on the café and its kitchen if we are to continue providing this fantastic facility in Carluke.

“It requires a total of £46,650.42 for this upgrade, and we have already received £4,390 in donations from customers and family members of our service users, which we are very grateful for.”

The old kitchen is similar to a domestic kitchen, which limits what can be prepared there, and Cafe Kudos would like a custom-designed, commercial kitchen to provide better training and a better working environment. Kitchen appliances, flooring, tables and chairs, and redecoration are also included in the plans.

“It would be wonderful if members of the community and businesses would donate to help us secure the future of Café Kudos,” said Isobel.

For one service user, Donald - whom Scottish Autism also supports at its transition service, New Ridgepark - working at Cafe Kudos has led to his independence and confidence growing enormously.

“The work of the Scottish Autism staff has enabled our son to cope with travelling to London with myself and his dad for his 20th birthday, doing things we never though he would be able to do such as sightseeing and going on the Tube!” said his mum, Lesley. “We are so proud of what he has achieved.

“Donald loves showing everyone how much he enjoys his time at the cafe, using photographs to communicate this.”

Karen Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Scottish Autism, said: “We would appeal to local businesses and the community in Carluke to help us support Café Kudos, enabling young adults with autism to continue to learn a variety of vocational skills - and serve delicious food and coffee!”

“We also hope to secure additional funding from Corporate and Trust donations, and are aiming to proceed with the renovations by the end of the summer 2017.”

There were protests this year when Scottish Autism’s One Stop Shop in Motherwell closed, but Kudos has made such a name for itself in Carluke that it should have a bright future - with a little help from local people. To donate to it, visit www.scottishautism.org or phone 01259 720044.