One of the cafe workers who lives with Down syndrome told the Echo how much she enjoys working at the coffee shop and and how it has boosted her confidence.

Donna Mclean, 50, from Westcliff said: “I am currently working on the shop one day a week, on a Wednesday, but I am hoping to extend this to more days when I have a bit more experience.

“I really like working here as I am getting great experience, which I am very grateful for.

“I help out in the kitchen washing plates and cups and I also help out by surviving customers by taking their drinks and food to their tables.

“I also clean the tables in the coffee shop. I like serving customers, because they are all so friendly and very nice.

“I have found it difficult in the past to find work because of my condition, which is why I think this is such a great thing that Southend Mencap are doing.

“I definitely think that this is something that more organisations should be looking to do to help people like me who find it hard to get work.

“I also really like working with Dre Bellamy and all the other members of the team who are so nice and welcoming and vert helpful. It is such a wonderful place to work and I feel very lucky.”