New Dunston community café opens its doors

A Tyneside community café providing low-cost meals to those who need it the most is now open.

Café NEET, which stands for “Not in Education, Employment or Training”, welcomes adults and children with free soup, rolls, tea and coffee, while friendly dogs receive a bowl of water and a special treat.

The Dunston Drop-in Youth Centre on Clockmill Road, Gateshead, where the café is located, hosted guests for the first time on Monday at a launch event.

Meals start from just £1 and punters will be able to grab a bite every weekday between 11.30am and 1pm.

The idea to provide good quality, healthy and affordable lunches to members of the local community came from volunteer and now café Head Chef, Michael Rayne.

He said:

“Café NEET is an excellent idea to provide additional services to those in need.

“Having struggled with unemployment myself I know that those young people who are out of work and have no where to go often need extra support. This café will provide just that.”

The Dunston Drop-In centre is a vital part of the Gateshead community that focuses on the youth and unemployed.

Lots of young people pass through its doors each year, and it is hoping that as many people as possible will come to try out the low-budget snacks, which will include sandwiches, jacket potatoes, and other healthy hot lunches.

The building which houses the café was secured through a 35 year lease from Gateshead Council to offer the community to space in which to come together for various activities and clubs.

 

Speaking on behalf of the organisation, Mrs Pauline Dillon, Chair of Trustees said:

“The Trustees fought long and hard to get this building so it is important we make it as viable as possible.

“Opening a café in the heart of the community is a great way of bringing people in, not just to feed them but to also see what else is available for them here.”

If you are interested in volunteering at the Community Café please contact Shona Dillon at shona.dillon@dunstondrop-in.org.uk or 0191 4609590.

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 04 Feb 2015

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