‘Water’ caring offer to do refurbishment

Duncan Davis and Mark Dunkeith carry out some of the refurbishment on the cafe.
Duncan Davis and Mark Dunkeith carry out some of the refurbishment on the cafe.

A cash-strapped cafe has been given a new lease of life thanks to volunteers from Northumbrian Water.

The Vine Café and Project in Tynemouth Road, Howdon, was in need of an urgent spruce up ahead of its summer fair on July 27 from 11am.

So staff from Northumbrian Water's nearby sewage treatment jumped at the chance to help.

A total of 11 people spent the day painting the café area, shop front and outdoor areas.

The work was arranged as part of the Sector Connector project, funded by North Tyneside Council and delivered by North Tyneside Voluntary Organisations Development Agency (VODA).

Lisa Gardiner, VODA's chief executive, said: "Times are hard for many voluntary organisations and, as a sector, we need to think about getting things done in an innovative and cost-effective way."

One volunteer, Duncan Davis, said: "It was a pleasure to work with the volunteer team. I hope their customers love the café's transformation."

The café ensures that local residents, often isolated older people, can eat an affordable, nutritional meal on a daily basis while it also provides adult education courses.