The Usual Place

Heather Hall
  • Academy Street
    DG1 1BZ
  • 01387 253485
  • Adult 25+
  • Adult 18-24
  • Adult 16-17
  • School S4
  • School S5
  • School S6
  • Annandale & Eskdale
  • Stewartry
  • Nithsdale
  • Stage 1 - Engagement
  • Stage 2 - Barrier Removal
  • Stage 3 - Vocational Activity
  • Stage 4 - Supporting Job Entry

The Usual Place is a training cafe which offers young people with additional support needs employability skills and opportunities in Hospitatlity, Front of House, Retail and Facilities Services(janitoral) at SVQ level 1. We provide volunteering opportunities to help people build self confidence and social and communincations skills.

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.

For more information please visit:

Specific Covid 19 Support 

The Usual Place is a well-loved social gathering place and we are very proud that so many older and vulnerable people tell us that they find comfort in our company and enjoy spending time on their own or with friends in The Usual Place.

These same people though, are the very same people the Government want us to help stay safe by our making it easy for them to create social distance and by explaining the guidance around why older and more vulnerable people should not be going to public places like cafes and restaurants.

We also work to enable young people with multiple health issues which puts them at much greater risk of complications should they catch the virus from others.

After the most recently updated guidelines from the Government about increased importance of social distance in their strategy, and the request for people to stay away from non-essential social gatherings including pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants we feel that it would be morally wrong for us to encourage social gatherings which is even a meeting friends for coffee and cake during this time when we may be allowing Covid-19 to be passed on. Spacing tables may work for some places, but we cannot see how, in The Usual Place, groups of even three or four people sitting in close proximity or at the same table can be conducive in helping stopping the spread of the virus in the at risk groups.

The Usual Place has made the very difficult decision to close until further notice.

We now need to act collectively to protect everyone and shield the most vulnerable people in our communities from severe illness and potential death.

We hope that everyone will understand our decision and that as soon as we can open again you will want to join us.

We are in touch with the resilience team in the Council and will do all we can to support our communities wherever and however we can.

Work to secure the future of The Usual Place will continue during our closure to the public including our local and national commitments to the promotion of the rights and responsibilities of young people with additional support needs.