Autisan cafe picture 

From 1 - 3 May 2020, a small group of cyclists will be taking on the 'Way of the Roses' cycle route from Morecambe in Lancashire to Bridlington in East Yorkshire.

Over three days they'll be going from coast to coast, seeing beautiful landscapes and of course, well deserved rest stops - all to raise money for a society that works for autistic people. 

We spoke to Andrew, the manager of our enterprise venue Café Autisan, in the beautiful Whalley Abbey in Lancashire's Ribble Valley. The cyclists will stop by this National Autistic Society social enterprise venue for a well deserved afternoon tea and a warm welcome from the team. 

You can still sign up to be part of this team - places are limited at only £75 including accommodation and meals. 

Join the cycle team


What do you do at Café Autisan to support autistic people?

Andrew: We support autistic adults to learn new skills, using techniques from visual aids to autism-specific apps on ipads. We'll work on a specific task that contributes to learning a new skill, so the autistic people working here learn important transferable skills for the world of work, alongside daily skills such as socialising. 

We've seen a huge increase in communication and social interaction skills from the people we support here. They're exposed to social situations on a daily basis and receive guidance on how to deal with them, so they're growing in confidence massively. 


What's it like to work at Café Autisan?

Andrew: Dan's a member of the team here, starting as a volunteer and now employed on a permanent basis. Let's ask him what he thinks!

Dan: When I first arrived, I didn't know how to cook or prepare food. I was a bit worried about using the equipment. The café staff showed me how to use all the different machines, and I'm now preparing some of the meals that go out to customers. When it was my birthday the staff gave me a birthday cake. I really appreciated it and feel like I really fit in!


What's the plan for welcoming the cycling team this September? 

Andrew: Café Autisan is lucky enough to be located on a popular cycle route that stretches right through the centre of the Ribble Valley. Cyclists often use the café for a well-deserved pit stop with our homemade cakes or a milkshake from our ice cream parlour. 

In May 2020, we'll be warmly welcoming the team taking on the Way of the Roses cycle challenge as they take it on to support the National Autistic Society. It's an impressive distance to cover so we're backing them all the way! 

Join the cycle team