WHY LUCY GO IS SPECIAL2019-02-11T18:44:56+00:00

Extra Magic

Besides the craft and café offerings, LucyG has a little bit of extra magic that makes things happen in unexpected and special ways.  LucyG was founded with the express purpose of creating meaningful employment for many young adults with disabilities, who are perfectly capable of working, while also offering a wonderful service to the wider community – a space to be creative, stimulated and have fun!

For most of our staff, their challenge is not just having a disability (of any kind); they also have had to deal with environmental and social barriers that limit their ability and opportunity to experience most activities we take for granted.  Society in general has not really perceived that with reasonable accommodation, many people with disabilities can and would love to participate in the day to day activities that define our everyday lives, including working and contributing to their own communities.

Lucy G offers an inclusive environment, enabling many of these staff to learn to work, thereby enabling and empowering them. Through making simple accommodations, they can understand what is required of them, and become more assured and independent. The staff have grown beyond expectations, and their genuine acceptance of everyone (and their humour!) has significantly changed the perceptions of those who interact with them.  In many cases, their families report back on wonderful transformations in confidence, attitude and self-worth.

The rest of the team at LucyG are currently all VOLUNTEERS!  Our young adults often need one-on-one training or supervision to build confidence and skills, and the directors keep an overall eye on the management and marketing.  Lucy G seems to exude such a positive energy that it attracts people who are prepared to give freely of their time, and our young adults are reaping the benefits!

How will this impact on your experience?  Well, you need to come on in to find out!  Most of our customers feel there is just “something different” about the vibe here at LucyG.  And we can only put it down to the love that flows so freely between our special staff, our volunteers and our customers – what an amazing group of people!

So visit us to get YOUR dose of that “little bit of extra magic”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the Name special?2019-02-04T15:43:50+00:00

Lucy Geel (née Garaghty) was the daughter of Helen Garaghty, one of the founders of The Lucy G. Foundation and the Craft Cafe. Lucy was only 31 when she died tragically in 2015. Lucy had always said that her older sister Jo, who has a disability, taught her compassion, and she would take care of Jo in her later years. The Café is named in memory of Lucy, and honors her dream of a better future for Jo and others like her.  Jo loves working at the café.

How did the LucyG Craft Café start?2019-02-04T15:43:29+00:00

The café was founded by Diana Phillips and Helen Garaghty. As an Occupational Therapist, Diana Phillips has for the past number of years worked in a therapeutic capacity with young adults who have a variety of disabilities.  She quickly realised the tremendous potential of these young adults as they were given new opportunities to learn and demonstrate their capabilities in her workshops.  However, the challenges in finding suitable employment in their communities led to much frustration for all involved.

Diana and Helen partnered with Michelle Roos, and the three directors explored the options for a viable business which could provide maximum employment opportunities and be adapted to accommodate the various levels of abilities. The venue had to be inclusive, accessible to all and located to facilitate other work opportunities. The Craft Café concept in Kirstenhof fit the bill.

And so LucyG was formed!

Why is it necessary to create places of employment that can accommodate disabled adults?2019-02-04T15:43:07+00:00

Approximately 7.5% (over 4 million) people in South Africa are disabled.  Of those capable of working, less than 1% are employed.  It is essential that more work places are educated to accommodate people with disabilities.  This has mutually beneficial outcomes for all involved.

LucyG is a ground-breaking institution in this regard, in that although the young adults employed have a wide variety of disabilities, LucyG focuses on the abilities.  We demonstrate that with the appropriate planning, training and flexibility, our staff can be productive and meaningfully employed, and often show themselves to be more capable than others initially gave them credit for. This attitude of inclusivity enhances not only their lives, but the lives of all that they come into contact with.

How many disabled young adults work at LucyG?2019-02-04T15:42:49+00:00

15 young adults are currently employed, and 2 are in training. They work a maximum of 3 shifts a week, with each shift lasting a maximum of 4 hours. We have the capacity to employ from 30 to 50 young adults per month, depending on the number of shifts each person works.

What are some examples of changes required to the work environment to accommodate people with various disabilities?2019-02-04T15:42:29+00:00

The young adults work shorter shifts to build up work endurance.  Simplified steps with visual cues are provided to facilitate the performance of each task.  The tasks and environment are also adapted so that each staff member can work in any area.

For example, one of the tasks is to making coffee.  We use plungers instead of machines, as they are simpler to work with, not noisy and will provide a good quality outcome of delicious coffee. There are color-coded measurements of coffee that are consistent for the different types of orders (i.e. cappuchino vs Latte), and visual cues which make it easy to follow the correct process of making them. Over time many of the staff no longer use the cues.

Is the café commercially sustainable? If not, where do the funds come from?2019-02-04T15:42:53+00:00

The aim in the longer term is for the café to become fully self-supporting from a commercial viewpoint, and to eventually afford a few permanent roles such as Manager, Occupational Therapist and Chef.  However, at this point, the café is still dependent on external sources of funds.  These are sourced through donations from the founders, their relatives and friends, some of the parents of the young adults, and from regular fund raising events.  Efforts are under way to connect with corporate or government sponsors to further assist in this regard.

This sounds like a wonderful venture – how can I get involved?2019-02-04T15:41:02+00:00

Please refer to the how can I help section for more details.

Vision & Mission

At Lucy G, you have a special opportunity to relax, reconnect with friends and families and re-discover your creative side.

Our Vision is to empower people through inclusion and change perceptions about disabilities.

Our Mission is to provide a sustainable inclusive environment that will enhance abilities, no matter who you are, and quality of life through meaningful work and creativity.