Community cafe serves up a tasty treat

The Recycling Lives community café, based at our headquarters in Preston, has dished up its first dinner!

We held a tasty lunch, with options of curry, chilli, rice and jacket potatoes, to say thank you to BAE Systems for their generous donation of kitchen equipment, without which the café would never have been launched.  The lunch was a huge success, thanks to a sterling team effort by our Residents and Recycling Lives charity staff.

The Recycling Lives café project took its first steps when we decided to use some of our charitable funds to develop a community café that, as well as offering staff, Residents and the local community a place to eat and socialise, would allow us to develop new social enterprises and expand our range of training opportunities for Residents to include catering and food preparation.

At the time, our commercial team was working with BAE Systems to remove kitchen equipment from a disused canteen on BAE’s Warton site. After hearing about our hopes for the community café project, BAE kindly donated thousands of pounds worth of equipment, including serve-over counters, tables and chairs, cookers, fridges, freezers, work stations and plate warmers . The donation was crucial in developing the café on budget.

After its official launch last week, the community café will soon be opening its doors to the public. The café will be managed by Preston College as a part of their learning centre, and as a community resource.

Recycling Lives chief executive, Charles Jackson, commented: “I hope this fantastic facility will be of great benefit to the centre and the local community, including local businesses, giving people in the local area the opportunity to enjoy high-quality food on their doorstep.

“Currently, our Preston centre has a footfall of around 3,500 people per month. This is already a great achievement for a site which was once just waste land, and we hope to see even more visitors stopping by once the café is fully operational.”

The community café is just the latest in a long line of endeavours that demonstrate how Recycling Lives is acting as a force for good in the local community. We’re not only helping individuals to work their way back to independent living after suffering hard times, we’re working hard to revitalise communities and areas that once stood unused.