The Usual Place is an award-winning organisation, World Host Destination and a Disability Confident Leader.
Every area of The Usual Place is fully accessible being wheelchair-friendly throughout.
We operate as a community cafe, offering a wide-ranged menu for breakfast, lunch, light snacks and takeaway. We are based in a famous historic building in the heart of Dumfries.
We also offer events hire space with one meeting room and the cafe area available. To find out more, please visit our Venue Hire page.
All the money we make in the café, room and space rental is used to cover business costs in support of our aims.
We have won a wide range of awards, including:
- SCDI Skills and Learning Award (2020) – Awarded to Morgan Deer, mentor
- SQA Star Awards – Pride O’ Worth (2019)
- SQA Star Awards – Partnership of the Year (2019)
- Nithsdale in Bloom – Best Commercial Premises (2019, 2018, 2017)
- Nithsdale in Bloom – Overall Winner (2018)
- Healthy Eating Award (2018)
- Sudocrem – UK Changing Places Toilet of the Year (2018)
- CIS Educator of the Year (2018) – Awarded to Tony Budde, External/Chef Assessor
- PAMIS – Most Accessible Building and Business, West Scotland (2017)
- World Host Destination (2017)
- Volunteer of the Year (2016) – Awarded to Amy Wright, Chairperson
- Dumfries in Bloom – Best Newcomer (2016)
- DG Life Awards – Best Café (2016)
We are home to an award-winning Changing Places Toilet, one of four facilities in Dumfries.
The Usual Place opened its doors in 2013 as the brainchild of CEO Heather Hall. The social enterprise was to work as a community café which would provide training, education and employability skills for young people with additional support needs, who were previously invisible, excluded, at risk of isolation and loneliness and importantly, unable to fulfil their potential as valuable, active citizens contributing positively to their communities.
We focus on the promotion of the innate talents and capabilities of young people, enabling and empowering them to flourish, and challenging the established stereotype of young people with learning disabilities.
This innovative training project will help young people improve their confidence, gain transferable skills in a real work environment and move into paid employment within mainstream workplaces. Our trainees will also be able to connect with other local organisations who will introduce them to a range of social and citizenship opportunities.
Young people who choose to become trainees at The Usual Place will work alongside a dedicated team of staff (mentors) and volunteers. Each young person can work at a pace they are happy with whilst they gain vocational skills and qualifications. This will enable them to achieve their ambitions in the hospitality industry.