How a former nursery nurse is helping families in South Shields with opening of town's first play cafe

A former nursery nurse has set up a new venture for families in South Tyneside.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:45 am

Husband and wife Helen and Eddie Jackson recently opened the town’s first ‘play cafe’, Bambeanos on Dean Road, South Shields.

After more than a decade as a nursery nurse with Sure Start, Helen decided it was time for a new venture and wanted to help the women and children she met through her job.

“Over 11 years I worked with a lot of children of different ages and I thought ‘where do they go in South Tyneside?’ There isn’t anywhere for families to take their children, that’s reasonably priced and has good educational toys and a nice environment,” she said.

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Helen and Eddie Jackson outside of Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID

With their catering background, the couple opened Bambeanos in August, providing a place for parents to meet and socialise while youngsters have a safe and stimulating place to play.

As well as having tons of toys on hand, the cafe hosts daily activities such as arts and crafts, messy play, toddler groups and baby massage with Kalma Baby.

Upstairs in the cafe they offer value for money dishes such as sandwiches, paninis, burgers and snacks and the play area is available to hire for private birthday parties for a small fee.

“We try to provide people with somewhere that isn’t going to cost a lot of money. It’s tasty food for a small price and the children can play all day for a pound if they want to,” said Eddie.

Helen Jackson in Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID

“We get a lot of single parents in here as well, they may not have a lot of friends and it’s a place where they can meet other mums.”

Helen can also help signpost families to local children’s centres and services, she added: “It’s a nice little environment where families can come and play and do little activities together.

“We’re hoping it will be a bit of a community hub where everybody gets to know each other and it becomes a bit of an extended Bambeanos family, with everyone helping each other out.”

Bambeanos play cafe in Dean Road, is open Monday-Saturday 9am-5pm, and Sunday 11am-3pm.

Helen Jackson in Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
Alix Kerr (23) with her daughter Olivia-Linda (6mths) at Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID
Helen and Eddie Jackson outside of Bambinos Cafe, Dean Road, South Shields. Picture by FRANK REID