North East charity cafe needs more space to grow

Cafe Beam CEO Paula Gascoigne (middle right) with cafe manager Lauren Patterson (middle left) with cafe staff, volunteers and customers. Credit: RusbyMedia

A North East charity cafe which gives hundreds of young disabled people work experience is having to expand to meet demand.

Cafe Beam in Gosforth was set up four years ago. Young people with disabilities are given work placements in the cafe to boost their confidence and give them experience.

The charity needs to relocate to bigger premises so that it can accommodate increasing numbers of young people looking for work placements.

The charity currently offers 60 placements a year to students from schools and colleges across the North East. The students are trained to serve customers, handle cash and train as baristas.

The charity, Smile for Life, which runs the cafe, hopes that with new, bigger premises they will be able to offer more work placements in different types of businesses and so benefit more young people.