While working with members of The Playtrail during the summer of 2020, it is clear that people with learning difficulties have been one of the worst affected groups of the pandemic. The drastic change in daily structure and abrupt transformation of daily life has had an adverse effect on a lot of members from The Playtrail.

As part of The Playtrail, Tea in The Park is a mobile tea and coffee shop run by young people with learning difficulties. They have a team of dedicated, barista trained young people and it provides meaningful work experience opportunities, builds their confidence, communication skills and increases their independence.

During our weekly zoom meetings throughout the summer, members of The Playtrail expressed interest in creating a short film for them to explain how Tea in The Park has helped them flourish as individuals.

Due to the lockdown, Tea In The Park was temporarily forced to shut their doors to the public. But after a long 6 months in lockdown, they are now back to serving customers. The members of Tea in The Park have had to quickly adapt to COVID-19 regulations.

On a sunny Friday morning Headliners Foyle visited the coffee shop to speak with Playtrail members and Tea in The Park Staff to see first-hand how it operates.

Oran, a member of The Playtrail and Tea in The Park staff member states that:

“I enjoy working here. It’s been good experience for me. What I enjoy about being here is that I get out to socialize and meeting different people.”

Another member Jason states that:

“What I enjoy about it is that it’s like working in a real job and you’re doing a lot of things like helping out the other staff and having conversations with the customers. I have gotten more confident through Tea in The Park.”

Stay tuned for more content from The Playtrail over the coming weeks.

This film was produced by young people involved in the Headliners project in Derry/Londonderry during the summer of 2020.

It was supported by The Playtrail and the film was made possible through funding from The National Lottery Community Fund.