Professor Brawn opens third outlet employing those with special needs – AutismSTEP
Professor Brawn celebrated the official opening of its third and largest outlet yesterday in the heart of the Enabling Village in Lengkok Bahru, in Redhill.
Professor Brawn is a social enterprise cafe chain run by the Autism Resource Centre (ARC) to provide jobs and social integration opportunities to people with special needs.
For ARC president Denise Phua, an MP for Jalan Besar GRC, the new 100-seater outlet – Professor Brawn Bistro – is particularly special.
“It is located in the public space, out in the community, and has taken our mandate to create employment for people with autism and expanded it to employ adults with other disabilities,” she said.
The Enabling Village is a community and social business hub where several companies hire people with disabilities.
Whereas the other two outlets – both Professor Brawn Cafes – in Raffles Institution and Pathlight School’s Campus 1 employ people with autism, the new bistro also counts people with intellectual and hearing disabilities among its 16 staff.
The bistro is the result of an entire community’s efforts, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who was guest of honour at yesterday’s opening.
Government-established agency SG Enable facilitated use of the space in the village, ARC provided expertise and support, and corporate partners such as Gong Cha provided job and training opportunities.
Various sponsors, including the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, donated baking equipment, furniture, edible plants and even the bistro’s landscaping design.
Mr Lee said such partnerships between the people, public and private sectors are crucial in helping to create an inclusive society, as the Government does not always have the answers. “I hope that more individuals and businesses will step forward and work with us to achieve our vision of a caring and inclusive society,” he said.
Mr Mitchel Wong, who has autism, has been working at the new outlet since last October. As a food runner and busboy, he is fulfilling his dream of working in the food and beverage industry.
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