The venture is children’s charity Smile for Life’s, second Café Beam, the first opening just five months ago at the charity’s premises in Ashburton Road, Gosforth. It was set up to give young people with special needs and disabilities hands-on work experience, to build skills and confidence before they leave school or college.
Based in Gosforth Newcastle, the charity provides support to North East children with disabilities and special needs. This amazing organisation tirelessly strives to help our local people through; specialist equipment provision, therapeutic activities, short breaks, challenge days, or simply a wonderful day out for a child and their family.
The staff at pop-up Café Beam are from ID Training at Westgate College, and all have a range of learning difficulties or special needs. Among those serving the hordes of customers was student Paul Wallwork. He said: “I am knackered! I am really happy with how today has gone. I was nervous about meeting people but I have really enjoyed it.”
“This new opportunity will allow even more students to benefit from these work placements and people in the community will see capable and delightful these young people really are.”
The opening saw over 150 coffees being served, 100 teas and more home-made cake than you would see on The Great British Bake Off. The pop-up café will run inside the church’s community room from 9am – 2pm every Friday. It is open to everyone from across the region.
Rev Juliet Stephenson, Vicar of The Church of the Holy Nativity, says she is overwhelmed at how many people came to the launch. “We are spilling out! We thought maybe 50 people would come along but over 200 have. They have all been really impressed. The food is all excellent quality. The students have done really well and all worked so hard.”
Paula Gascoigne, Chief Executive of Smile For Life, said: “We are delighted that we have been asked by the church to expand our wonderful project with the pop-up Café Beam.
The Church of Holy Nativity, Hillhead Parkway, Chapel House, Newcastle.
Friday: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm.
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