Finance Minister visits Orchard Cafe @ The Grove

On the 13th August Department of Finance Minister Conor Murphy MLA  announced an allocation of £7Million to the Social Enterprise Sector here in Northern Ireland. There has also been a further allocation of £2.5Million for the Safe Re-Opening of Voluntary & Social Enterprises.

Visiting Orhard Cafe @ The Grove, the Finance Minister met with Joan McGinn, CEO Orchardville ; Gareth Kirk, GLL social enterprise; and Colin Jess, director of Social Enterprise NI.

Orchardville believe that with the right support, any individual with a learning disability or autism can reach their full potential and achieve their employment aspirations. The Orchard Cafe @ the Grove is a social enterprise that provides meaningful work experience opportunities to people with learning disability and/or autism who wish to pursue employment in the catering, hospitality and tourism sectors. The Cafe works in partnership with GLL, which manages 14 leisure centres in Belfast.

Joan McGinn, CEO Orchardville was delighted with the announcement and said ,”Great to have the Minster for Finance visit Orchard Café @ The Grove to hear and see first-hand the impact that our social enterprise business has on our staff and participants with learning disability and autism. Lockdown has been a challenging time for our social enterprise businesses but we are determined to build back stronger and welcome the funding announced by the Minster for the social enterprise sector.”


Based in East and North Belfast, Orchard Cafés are busy coffee shops, providing work experience and development opportunities for up to 6 participants daily. Participants are supported onsite by vocational mentors to achieve their agreed goals and ultimately secure paid employment.

Orchard café is an award-winning café having recently won Best Eatery in East Belfast, an award voted for by the public as part of the Eastside Awards. Orchard café enjoys a 5-star hygiene rating and we are proud holders of the Taste of Ulster award demonstrating our commitment to the use of local, high quality ingredients.

Due to the success of Orchard Café in East Belfast the demand saw a need to grow the service for Orchard Café at the Grove in North Belfast located in the Grove Wellbeing Centre, and more recently Orchard Café at Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate.

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At work in the Orchard Café, Belfast

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