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 email@example.com or 0191 4609590.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 04 Feb 2015
Volunteers at a Sunderland community centre are celebrating after being handed a funding boost.
St Luke’s Neighbourhood Trust, in Merle Terrace, Pallion, has been awarded £9,450 to refurbish its kitchen and £9,000 to set up a cafe for the homeless.
The charity, set up in 2001, provides activities and support services for the community and has more than 100 members.
The Linden Family Fund-Vaux Fund awarded a grant for the kitchen work, while the Henry Smith Charity supported the cafe. Both applications were backed by the Community Foundation Newcastle group.
Tina Carlisle, community engagement worker at the centre, said:
“We provide facilities and services that can be used by members of the local community, which consist of young and older people.
“Some have disabilities and are living in poverty in a highly deprived area.
“They are vulnerable, isolated and on low incomes.”
Tina said that without the backing of funding groups and donors, as well as income from renting out rooms at the centre, they would not be able to survive.
“We provide two main halls for a wide range of activities,” said Tina.
“We survive by charging a small fee for the use of our halls and from donations and grants, which are all put back into the community through the much-needed services we provide.
“All our upkeep, utilities and maintenance costs for the building are also paid through the small rental costs on the halls we receive.
“We provide a safe environment for all members of the community to meet and create friendships, while educating and improving the lives of residents.”
The not-for-profit organisation is run by members of the community and managed by a 14-strong management committee.
“We would like to encourage any new community groups to come forward and use our premises, with a promotional offer,” said Tina.
“Our small hall has recently received funding. With the help of two work-experience children on placement from Hylton Redhouse Academy, we worked together with volunteers to refurbish and decorate it.
“We want as many people as possible to use the hall, but we need to get the message out that we’re here.
“People sometimes get us confused with St Luke’s Church, which is attached to us, but around the corner on Maxwell Street.
“Anyone who want more information should get in touch.”
Anyone who wishes to volunteer at the centre, or is interested in using its facilities, can call 0758 402 6782.
Source – Sunderland Echo, 04 Feb 2015
The English Defence League is to march through Newcastle’s West End, despite objections from police.
Northumbria Police’s Chief Constable Sue Sim fears tomorrow’s demonstration will cause distress to residents.
> Well, yes… that’s their whole intention, isn’t it ? That’s why they’re not marching through Gosforth or Jesmond.
However, the far-right group has refused to compromise with the force and change its route so tomorrow’s march will go ahead.
Chief Cons Sim said: “Northumbria Police has been speaking to organisers from the English Defence League for a number of weeks following their announcement that they want to hold a march in Newcastle on Saturday, May 17.
“The EDL expressed an intention to march in the West End of the city through a highly populated, residential area. We have made our position clear that we do not support this as the impact on the local community is too great. It poses a risk to public safety, will cause people fear in their own homes and create significant disruption as people try to go about their daily lives.
“Northumbria Police has always tried to facilitate peaceful protest and has worked with the EDL in the past to agree suitable routes for them to march and protest. We also regularly work with other groups with a range of opposing views to agree routes for marches and protest locations.
“Regrettably, this time EDL organisers have not been prepared to compromise on an alternative route, although we would remind them we are still prepared to discuss alternatives.
“Those planning to attend should be aware there has been no agreement with police with regards to meeting points or route locations.”
Protest group Newcastle Unites has also spoken to police about marching through the West End tomorrow.
And after discussions the route of this demonstration was altered.
Mrs Sim has vowed that officers will be out on the streets to ensure all protests pass peacefully and that residents’ safety will be a priority.
She added: “We have an excellent history of harmonious relations between all our communities and the public should rest assured that their safety remains our priority. We will not allow anything to disrupt their way of life or any marches to take place in residential areas.
“Our neighbourhood officers, known to local communities, together with other officers will be out and about in the run up to and throughout Saturday to reassure local people and answer any questions they may have.
“We have also been working with representatives of the local community and partners in the run up to the weekend.
“We do expect Saturday to be extremely busy in Newcastle but it will be ‘business as usual’. There are a number of events going on in the city centre and surrounding areas but there is no need for anyone to change their plans or avoid the city.”
Northumbria Police’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird is now appealing to the EDL to get in touch.
She said: “The Chief Constable has made an operational decision that no march or demonstration should be allowed in the west end of Newcastle on March 17, and, although I do not make operational decisions, as the Police and Crime Commissioner I agree and support her wholeheartedly.
“Few people would wish to have their communities disrupted in that way, including probably those who want to protest.
“In previous demonstrations, protests and marches by the English Defence League (EDL), they have accepted the request to discuss the route and the details with Northumbria Police, who have a good history of protecting the right to protest whilst ensuring that people who are not involved are not seriously inconvenienced.
“It is disappointing that the EDL have refused to give details of their plans to the police.
“I would appeal to them to make contact now and agree reasonable arrangements as usual.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 16 May 2014