A charity which provides vital support to some of South Tyneside’s most vulnerable citizens is aiming to raise £500,000 to expand its services.
South Shields-based Hospitality and Hope, now based at the former Hampden Street Day Centre in South Shields, runs food banks and soup kitchens across the town.
Now it has moved into the former Duncans pet shop at Chichester after the North East’s Willan Trust bought the building and rented it to the charity at a peppercorn rent.
The aim is to create a community cafe on the bottom floor of the building which would be open to the public.
And the upstairs is to be converted to provide supported living for five adult males.
It’s a hugely ambitious project with the revamp work needed and first year running costs expected to cost £500,000.
Fortunately, Hospitality and Hope volunteers had already started fundraising before the charitable trust purchased the building on its behalf, and is “well on its way” to its target.
But Amelia Luffram, project co-ordinator with the charity, has still called on the borough’s business community to rally in support.
“It is really two separate projects. The supported living upstairs will definitely be open before the end of the year but there is an awful lot of work to do in the cafe as the pet shop has been closed for several years.
“We will be continuing our fundraising and are planning one big fundraising event in the future. Meanwhile, it would be great if building companies were able to donate stuff in kind that we could use to carry out the refit, and when the community café is open we could give those companies recognition, perhaps in the form of plaque.
“We’d also love to hear from any businesses that can provide beds, fridges and freezers for the supported living accommodation.”
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, a staunch supporter of Hospitality and Hope, was on hand when John Duncan handed over the keys to the former pet shop recently.
Also in attendance was the Mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham, who said:
“In these difficult economic times, Hospitality and Hope provide a much-needed service for South Tyneside communities.
“It is sad to see so many people living in crisis, but it is heartening to see the level of support offered by volunteers and partner organisations who are committed to helping others.”
Thanks have been passed on to the charity’s patron, Sir David Chapman, for his support.
If you can help the charity, e-mail email@example.com
Source – Shields Gazette, 18 Feb 2015
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.
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 4609590.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 04 Feb 2015