South Shields garden project branches out with new cafe

Members of the Holder House Alllotments, Whiteleas, South Shields, in their new extensioin.
Members of the Holder House Alllotments, Whiteleas, South Shields, in their new extensioin.

A community project is celebrating a lottery grant win as it looks to help people to maximise their employability prospects.

Holder House Allotment Project is branching out into cooking and basic health and hygiene as it aims to give jobseekers hands-on experience.

Hopefully, it will help them reach their full potential.

Anne-Marie Pape

The ‘First Steps to Employment’ scheme has been made possible thanks to a £9,890 Awards for All Grant from the National Lottery which has been used to revamp a portacabin into a kitchen and community cafe.

Holder house director Ann Marie Pape said: “We asked people for ideas at a fun day we held in the summer and a lot of people said they would be interested in a practical hands on employability project based in a community cafe setting.

“Thanks to Awards for All Lottery we have been able to take an idea and turn into a reality.

“It is directed towards those who are unemployed and those with learning difficulties.

“With the increase in cuts to certain budgets, people with learning difficulties are being encouraged to join community based projects that match their skills and abilities. Hopefully this project supports that aim and help them reach their full potential.”

Those taking part will be trained in areas including: cooking basic food, health and food hygiene, serving customers, looking after and ordering stock and general administration.

Advisors will also be on hand to offer advice in employability training.

The scheme has also been supported by a number of residents and South Tyneside-based businesses.

Mrs Pape added: “Holder House Project wouldn’t be where it is now without the support of local people.

“I’d like to thank Wooden Huts, KBB Interiors who fitted and supplied the kitchen, Mrs and Mrs English who donated the dinner service and Mr and Mrs Thompson who donated a microwave.”

The new kitchen is the latest addition to the site which provides gardening and woodwork opportunities, has also been revamped with new additions, including walkways and patio.