New community cafe comes to Cowgate

A new community cafe is about to open its doors at our Families & Parenting hub in Newcastle.

Children North East has joined forces with the charity Sporting Chance, one of our neighbours at the Cowgate Community Centre and with FareShare North East to launch the food outlet with the aim of providing affordable healthy food to local families.

Children North East is hosting the café in its Families and Parenting centre whilst Sporting Chance are supplying staff, including trained chef Lee Wilson, who’s also a member of Sporting Chance’s teaching team.

Chef, Lee Wilson mixing up some pancakes

The café will take deliveries from FareShare North East who provide surplus supermarket food to communities. Tracey Welsh, Service Manager at Children North East’s Families and Parenting Service, said she hoped the café would prove popular with people from the local community. Tracey said:

“We know some people struggle to put healthy food on the table because, as we all know, fresh fruit and vegetables can be expensive. We hope that this partnership with Sporting Chance and Fareshare will make a decent meal more affordable for local families.”


Jamie Cairns, Director of Sporting Chance North East, said that once it’s established the café could also offer training opportunities to people who would like to gain catering qualifications. Seventeen-year-old Aimee Tams is Lee’s first apprentice and is looking forward to learning how to cook up a storm. Jamie added:

“We want the café to be a one-stop shop where people will be able to get a low cost, healthy meal, where we can interest them in the activities we provide and signpost them to different services. We would also like to be able to offer work experience and training as the café becomes more established.”


Competition to name the café

Children North East’s Families and Parenting Service runs a number of activities for families including baby music sessions; First Aid and home safety advice and equipment installation. There are also courses to help parents forge better relationships with their teens and pre-teens and more intensive courses addressing domestic violence.

Sporting Chance is a not-for-profit organisation providing education and training opportunities to people who can’t access mainstream education.

Sporting Chance and Children North East will be running a competition for the community to name the café and will be offering a small prize for the winner. Anyone wishing to take part can call in at the café with their suggestions.

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