New social enterprise café opens at Leith Victoria Swim Centre

The opening of a new social enterprise café has been announced for a leisure centre in Leith.

Published 28th Aug 2017
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Edinburgh-based charity Upward Mobility said they were delighted to announce the opening of the new YoYo Café at Leith Victoria Swim Centre.

The new social enterprise café, run by chef Mark Elliot, will provide delicious food and drink and a friendly and relaxing environment for people using the centre's pool and gym facilities.

In addition, the eatery will provide up to 10 training places at any one time for young people and adults with learning disabilities
and autism.

The charity say these placements are intended to increase the the capacity and confidence, skills and employment prospects of trainees.

The café will be open to the public Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.
to 5 p.m., and is the result of a partnership between charity Upward Mobility and Edinburgh Leisure.

The premises were officially opened by Ben Macpherson MSP at 11 a.m today (Monday 28th August).

As an Edinburgh based charity, Upward Mobility supports around 148 young adults and adults with additional support needs living in the capital and the Lothians, to lead full and happy lives.

The group provides an extensive programme of workshops (119 workshops a week) in subjects a diverse as rock music, filmmaking, gardening and cooking, with the majority of their activities taking place within Edinburgh Palette on London Road.

Satellite projects also take place at Prestonpans Community Centre, North Berwick Community Centre and now Leith Victoria Swim Centre.

The first YoYo Café, run for and by Upward Mobility students, opened originally for just one day a week in October 2015 within Edinburgh Palette on London Road.

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The installation of the café kitchen was made possible thanks to a significant grant from the Cothworkers’ Foundation.

Further funding from Young Start has enabled the café service and training opportunities to be extended to 4 days a week (- with the aim of becoming 5 days a week by the end of 2017).

YoYo Café at Leith Victoria Swim Centre, will now provide an "exciting opportunity for students who have gained catering experience at the Upward Mobility cafe at Edinburgh Palette to progress on to working in a public environment", say the charity.

Ben Macpherson MSP welcomed YoYo café to Leith – saying it was great to have the new café here.

Manging Director of Upward Mobility, Josh Barton added: "This is a great opportunity for us to work with Edinburgh Leisure. Our students (all of whom have additional support needs), will really benefit from the training opportunities provided by the new YoYo café.

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"This new café will enable us to provide important learning and training to improve the skills, confidence and life chances of our students. We are really excited about this new venture!’

"This new venture means that our students can progress from working in our building, providing a service for their peers, to working in a lovely public environment at the old Victorian swimming baths here at the heart of the community in Leith."

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