Café serves up employment

The Opportunity Cafe in Newburn has opened its doors for the first time  and is run by adults and young people with learning disabilities.

L-R: Judith Thompson, network manager for the North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network, worker Amy Conway from Felton, and Lela Kogbara, Director of Employment Programmes for NHS England
The Opportunity Cafe in Newburn has opened its doors for the first time and is run by adults and young people with learning disabilities. L-R: Judith Thompson, network manager for the North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network, worker Amy Conway from Felton, and Lela Kogbara, Director of Employment Programmes for NHS England

Amy Conway, from Felton, is involved with a new café in Newcastle, which is to be run by adults and young people with learning disabilities.

The Opportunity Café was unveiled yesterday, during Learning Disability Week.

Eleven people from across the region and aged between 18 and 50 have been recruited to work in the café as catering assistants. The café, located at Waterfront 4 in Newburn, has been unused since January 2016. The North East and Cumbria Learning Disability Network (NECLDN) team, which is hosted by NHS England, took the opportunity of re-opening the café with a focus on creating jobs for people with learning disabilities.

The café, which employs 14 people in total, is also providing full-time employment for a manager and chef and two café support workers.

The venue will have a phased opening, serving hot drinks and snacks for the rest of this week, hot and cold lunches during week commencing this Monday, and hot and cold breakfasts and lunches from Monday, July 3.

Pictured, from left, are Judith Thompson, of NECLDN, worker Amy Conway, and Lela Kogbara, from NHS England.