The Lovely Central London Café Dedicated To Helping Young People With Learning Disabilities • Fair Shot

Since Fair Shot opened up its Mayfair café in 2021, it has fulfilled a pledge to break down employment barriers by helping those with learning disabilities train in the hospitality sector.

Fast forward to February 1, 2023: the café is making the move over to The Yards in Covent Garden, which will see it become the area’s first non-profit social enterprise. A bigger site will mean even more people are helped, plus more of their brunch dishes and fresh pastries to go around, which is always a bonus.

Fair Shot Café was founded by Bianca Tavella in 2019 with a view to challenging the damning statistic that sees a 94% unemployment rate among adults with learning difficulties.

12 trainees are enrolled each year to take part in a hospitality programme, spending four days a week at the café and one day at their partner college, working alongside a mentor and job coach. Following the year at the café, trainees are then placed at organisations around London, from hospitality groups including Aquavit to corporate offices like Associated British Food.

In essence, it’s a lovely initiative that should be championed – and it’s backed up by the quality food, settings, and service. At Fair Shot, you can sit with your laptop or nattering away in their bright interior, while tucking into the all-day dining options. Overnight oats with caramalised air-fried pear, sultanas & honey tick all the boxes, while their selection of homemade focaccias, toasties and salads are perfect for a quick meal alongside a coffee.

Talking of which, the hot java comes from Curious Roo – providing specialty-grade coffee with notes of chocolate, caramel sweetness and a red apple aftertaste. Oh, and Fair Shot are giving away 300 brews between February 1 and 4, so you know where to go on your lunch break at the start of the month.

Speaking on the new opening, Fair Shot Founder Bianca Tavella said: “In the space of a year, we’ve helped 21 adults get out of the unemployment cycle, taken off a huge amount of pressure off their families and changed thousands of mindsets amongst our customers creating an everlasting chain reaction of impact.

“We have trainees that had not left their house since the very start of the pandemic, trainees that have started making friends and socialising for the very first time, trainees that have started speaking, trainees that have started smiling and trainees that have developed a whole new sense of confidence.

“The Yards, Covent Garden represents a massive step forward, not only for Fair Shot but also in destigmatising disabilities, charity and inclusion. It is everything we could ever wish for and unlocks a whole new set of opportunities for our trainees and our business. ”

Fair Shot opens at their new site in The Yards at Covent Garden on February 1, and will be giving away 300 free coffees on this day and February 4. Read more about Fair Shot and their story here.