A Tyneside cafe which will give students with disabilities a chance at work experience has opened its doors.
Cafe Beam has been set up by Smile For Life children’s charity, which is based in Ashburton Road, Gosforth, Newcastle.
It aims to give students from local special needs schools and colleges real-life work experience before they leave education. The cafe was officially opened on Saturday with more than 150 cups of coffee served, 40 cups of tea and plenty of home-made cake.
Café Beam was the brainchild of Paula Gascoigne, chief executive of Smile For Life.
She said: “We were overwhelmed by the support of the local community on Saturday. The feedback from customers was excellent. We want people not only to come to Café Beam to support us, but also because we are serving high-quality coffee, tea and home-made produce.
“This is the culmination of many months of hard work – it started as a dream to help more young people with special needs and disabilities and is now a reality.”
Paula hopes to not only help young people to gain employment, but also to break down barriers within the community.
She added: “We want to help create acceptance, and to show how young people with special needs can be creative, fun to be around, and can brighten your day.”
Café Beam on Ashburton Road will now be open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
(Story by Sarah Scott - Newcastle Chronicle)