A new café for homeless and disadvantaged young people has opened in Caernarfon, with the help of warewasher manufacturer Meiko.
The Caffi Ni, or ‘Our Café’ also secured a £50,000 Big Lottery Fund grant after claiming the best runner up spot in The People’s Millions competition on ITV Wales.
Project co-ordinator Tomas Griffiths of the GISDA charity, which aims to offer vulnerable people in society the opportunity to improve their quality of life so they aren’t disadvantaged because of poverty, explains that the charity provides young people with work experience, new skills, confidence and the motivation to lead successful independent lives.
The café’s operators are youngsters who will receive accreditations for cooking skills, starting their own business, health and safety and food and hygiene.
Meiko provided a front-loading ECO530 dishwasher, along with installation of the machine, plus a 12-month warranty and a planned maintenance visit.
Griffiths contacted Meiko directly after hearing about the machines Meiko UK and Hobart had donated to charities in the past and MD Bill Downie was delighted to be able to help Caffi Ni out.
“It’s a great bit of kit,” said Griffiths, “and it really helped us get going.
“In our first week, we served 150-200 meals and snacks every day, from tea and cake to breakfasts and lunches. We are open 10-4pm but want to open later until 6 or 7pm.
“The dishwasher is our biggest single donation of equipment, so thank you Meiko for handling everything, including the machine installation, undertaken by Meiko UK engineer David Jackson”
Between 1989 and 2010, GISDA has assisted over 2000 youngsters with supported housing, education, training, work, budgeting, health, life skills and other services. The charity employs over 30 members of staff and supports around 100 young people annually.
The supply of this machine to Caffi Ni brings the total of reconditioned dishwashing machines provided by Meiko UK throughout the country to a varying cross section of charities to an incredible total of 141 units over the past 3 years.