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New patio is on the menu for café

Liz Turnbull and Sue Adams, of the North Tyneside Disability Forum, with Chris Kelsey, of The Banks Group.
Liz Turnbull and Sue Adams, of the North Tyneside Disability Forum, with Chris Kelsey, of The Banks Group.

A charity’s plans to create new feature for its forthcoming café have been backed by a business.

North Tyneside Disability Forum, which works with local disabled people, moved to new premises on Earsdon Road, Shiremoor, earlier this year.

Among its initial work in the new premises was a trial run of community coffee mornings open to anyway.

And thanks to the popularity, the café is to become a permanent feature – now being awarded a £5,000 grant from the Banks Community Fund to build a sheltered patio area outside the cafe.

Local firm KBM Building Services is set to start work on the patio, which will be block-paved and fitted with railings to ensure it is accessible to all, and it is expected to be ready for use before the end of the year.

The café will also provide vocational training and work experience opportunities for some of the charity’s service users with learning disabilities.

Liz Turnbull, lead community development work at North Tyneside Disability Forum, said: “There was a community café close to our old premises, but it was forced to close and was much missed by local people.

“Our new premises offers both a large kitchen and a good-sized meeting space, so we thought it would be a good idea for us to create a new cafe that everyone could use.

“The café will provide a safe space in which anyone can spend some time chatting with friends, which makes a big difference in terms of tackling social isolation.”

“The area outside the cafe will offer a perfect place to sit when the weather’s nice, and putting the patio in place will ensure this space is fully accessible to everyone.

“There’s no way we’d have been able to take our patio plans forward without the support we’ve had from The Banks Group, and we’re looking forward to being able to make the most of it on sunny days for years to come.”

Chris Kelsey, communications manager at the Banks Group, said: “The North Tyneside Disability Forum does so much good work for disabled people and their families across local communities, and their ambition to do even more through the new cafe will make a big difference to a lot of local people.”