November the 2nd YMCA will be launching a new project for our residents in the Parkside Cafe. Residents will be able to join Alice and Brian learning to cook and serve batch meals; training as baristas and learning the fundamentals of running a cafe.
We are really excited about this new project that will make excellent use of our catering facilities while we are unable to open to the general public for sit down service.
The Eyre Family Foundation has kindly allowed us to repurpose apprenticeship money towards this training project which will benefit all residents rather than just one. We are also looking for additional funding, so if you are interested in supporting this exciting new project then do click on our donate page.
More news will follow, once we have all the details of how the project will run, but if you are local and would like a tray bake lasagne or a scrummy sausage casserole to take home, why not let us know and we will see what we can do.
Cafe Manager Alice says:
"It hasn't been easy keeping the Cafe open during the pandemic, so we all sat down and thought of a way we could put all of our skills and facilities to good use. I am really excited to be working with the YMCA Reading Support Workers to help our young people with positive project over the winter months while we face this uncertainty."
The YMCA Parkside Cafe has steadfastly remained open for residents and staff throughout lockdown and reopened in June for takeaway customers, particularly the contractors working on the YMCA Sport Centre refurbishment. Due to the complex nature of what we do at YMCA Reading, providing housing for vulnerable young people, we have been unable to re-open the doors of the Cafe for sit-down meals, and are really missing the community vibe we always had from out toddler soft-play area. We are missing all of our regular customers and look forward to the day that we can welcome you all back. In the meantime, don't forget about us when you fancy a lovely fresh coffee or treat, we are still here for takeaway service.