Thanks to North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson’s networking with First Great Western railway last Autumn, staff and volunteers at the Olive Tree Cafe at Manor Garden Centre now cook up more inspired meals.
The cafe provides positive, work-related opportunities to people who are recovering from or at risk of suffering mental illness.
Justin brought First Great Western into play on two occasions last year, firstly when cafe helper Belinda Platt decided to organise an auction at the Old Bank in Old Town to raise money for a new boiler.
One of the top prizes was for two people to travel to London in first class; in total the auction raised over £2,000.
Then Justin approached the railway company to sponsor staff training for six people.
Olive Tree manager Phyllida Richards said: “Justin’s help has been invaluable. His response to Belinda’s request resulted in a new boiler which has made such a difference to our washer-uppers.
“And the opportunity to train with John Bridgeman at his Rusland Cookery School in Haydon Wick was a really empowering experience.
“It gave us lots of positive energy and inspirational ideas to provide better catering for our customers.”
Olive Tree Cafe staff bake cakes, scones and biscuits in their own kitchen and serve breakfasts, snacks and light lunches, using fresh produce, some of which is grown in the neighbouring TWIGS garden.
Drop in next time you’re visiting Manor Garden Centre, Darby Close Cheney Manor Estate, SN2 2QJ.
Justin pictured with Rhiannon Holbrook top, and with some of the Olive Tree Cafe team, right, by Richard Wintle of Calyx