Stratton-based young enterprise organisation Inspire will be opening a community cafe at Redhouse Village Centre, in the ‘commercial’ space opposite Isambard Community School’s reception area.
Inspire director Pauline McVitie said “the coffee shop will be managed by catering professionals but it will be run by young people who are classified as NEET – Not in Education, Employment or Training.
“Our aim with Inspire is to give work experience to as many young people as possible. By running small businesses like the Redhouse café we’re also fulfilling an important community need for a meeting place in the centre.”
Pauline and her team are planning to offer the space for Mother and Toddler groups and coffee mornings to appeal to older residents.
“We see an opportunity to bridge the generation gap by creating a space where young and old can mix. We also hope to host student groups from Isambard, and are in contact with the policing team who can use this space with youth groups.
“We’re not pretending to be an international brand name bringing in a franchise to make a profit. First and foremost we’re passionate about getting things right for communities in Swindon, and we see that the young people of the town play a vital role in achieving that.”
Pauline and business partner Sarah Maisey set up Inspire two years ago, and since then have touched the lives of dozens of young people in their base at the Bentley Centre.
“Our vision is to eradicate the problem of young people in our town being without a worthwhile occupation, and to put Swindon on the map as the first borough to achieve this,” said Sarah.
So far the enterprise has launched Katz Kandi cake-baking service, N’eet Booty which sells unwanted goods on e-bay, and N’eet Gardens, offering an affordable gardening service to schools and communities.
Contractors have started work on fitting out the space so that the cafe can open in early April.
Pictured: Pauline and Sarah of Inspire