A NORTH EAST organisation which has gained international recognition for pioneering the first UK hotel run by young people with autism and learning difficulties is now expanding into catering.

The St Camillus Care Group, which runs The Vault at the former River’s Edge Hotel at Gateshead, is joining forces with Newcastle College to run a supported internship programme, giving students aged between 16 – 24 the chance to train in hospitality.

And to give students and their families the opportunity to find out more about the unique scheme a special information morning is being held onSaturday 22 April.

The programme will give young people who have an education, health and care plan the opportunity to have 12 months of hands-on experience, working at a Newcastle city centre gastropub and an Italian restaurant.

The event on 22 April will run from 9.30am to 11am at the Bottle Shop, Waterloo Square, Newcastle where potential students and their families and carers can hear from trainees from The Vault and from Newcastle College and St Camillus Care Group about what the scheme entails.

Holly Kelleher, Centre Manager for the St Camillus Care Group, said the partnership was offering a great opportunity for students to gain valuable experience with a view to gaining employment in the hospitality industry.

“We are delighted to be working with Newcastle College and their Learning Development Education Services to offer a programme that will help students improve their employability,” she said.

Andrew Harrison, Learning Development Manager, at Newcastle College said “We are really looking forward to working in partnership with St Camillus Care. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students, it will enable them to develop skills and hands-on experience that will support them in the future.

“Education is a key part in every individual’s life, at Newcastle College we ensure that every learner gains the skills and knowledge needed to reach their goals.”

Anyone attending on the day can park for free at Newcastle College’s main car park at Scotswood Road, if they mention they are attending the event.

The Vault has been transformed by the St Camillus Care Group into a facility which gives young people with autism and learning difficulties training in all aspects of running a hotel and will open in late May as a respite care hotel.