A LEARNING disability cafe served up a slice of birthday cake for customers to mark its first anniversary.

Balloons were scattered around the Yellow Submarine Cafe in Witney on Friday as staff and customers joined in the celebrations at the Windrush Leisure Centre.

Kate Sankey, co-director of the organisation, said it had been a "wonderful day."

The 29-year-old said: "Our Witney cafe is going from strength to strength.

"We've been able to offer so many opportunities to our trainees because the space is so much bigger than our Oxford cafe."

The eatery was set up by the Yellow Submarine charity, which organises residential holidays and short breaks for young people and adults with learning disabilities.

The decision to open the Witney cafe was made following the success of its Park End Street cafe in Oxford, which has now been running for three years.

Miss Sankey added: "It made sense for us to open the cafe in Witney.

"We had been running young peoples activities in the local area for a while and that is where we all started, so it was a natural progression.

"We also found that a lot of our trainees which were coming to our Oxford cafe had to travel quite far to get to us.

"So it made more sense to have somewhere closer to home for them."

The cafe is already well established within the community and recently received £3,600 of funding from Witney Rotary Club.

Miss Sankey said: "It was such a lovely gesture from them and to be recognised as their Charity of the Year was very special.

"By supporting us like this we have been able to buy new equipment for the cafe.

"I know one of the favourite pieces we have purchased is a silent smoothie maker - so there should be a whole menu of smoothies to try over the summer."

For its official opening last year, the cafe was visited by former Prime Minister David Cameron.

At the time the Witney MP said: "Yellow Submarine is an inspirational charity and I have seen first-hand the difference they make in Oxfordshire.

"Their apprenticeships and employment opportunities give young people with learning disabilities the skills and confidence to make independent decisions.

"So many of us take this for granted and it was a pleasure to open the cafe."

Although the organisation will be concentrating on strengthening its two businesses, Miss Sankey did not rule out the possibility of expanding the charity.

She added: "Well you can never say never, if the right opportunity comes along and it felt right we might look at running another cafe.

"We run a lot of young peoples activities in Abingdon so maybe that could be the next place we open."

Currently there are 12 trainees and apprentices which work between both Witney and the charity's Park End Street cafe in Oxford.

For more information on the cafe visit: yellowsubmarine.org.uk