Helene’s story

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Helene shares her story and achievements since joining Restore’s Garden Café recovery group. Helene grew in confidence, developed new skills and was able to move on independently.

Helene’s journey, like hundreds of others every year, is made possible thanks to Restore’s supporters.

“After my breakdown I began to look for something new. At Restore’s Garden Café Recovery Group I enjoyed working as part of a team in a supportive and friendly environment.”

“I learnt to bake, prepare seasonal soups and salads, make sandwiches and light lunches. This equipped me with essential cooking skills and it led to my healthy eating habits.”

“The skills and the knowledge that I gained during this time has encouraged me to volunteer in a community café and to enrol on several community courses. I have also gained a qualification in Food Safety at Work.” (Level 2)

“I learnt to be more confident, and it was easier to ask for help when I needed it. The Cafe offered something meaningful to do every week.”

“I was quite forgetful sometimes but all in all though I have acquired a good amount of knowledge, skills and pleasure in the cooking that I still practice to this day.”

The award-winning Garden Café is a therapeutic recovery space where people – like Helene – are able to rebuild their confidence and learn new skills. It is also a tranquil haven-of-calm on Oxford’s bustling Cowley Road. The ethical café is open to all, offering homemade light lunches and Fairtrade barista coffee, Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm.