New community internet café cooks up a storm


A new community internet café, run by and for young people who have been homeless or who face homelessness, has officially opened in Hamilton.


The Brew ‘n’ a Chew café gives people the chance to enjoy fresh, healthy food, use the internet for free, boost their skills and meet new people.


It was set up by Loretto Care, part of Wheatley Group, and is funded by a £5000 grant in partnership with the Lens.


The Lens is an organisation supported by charities, grant makers, the Scottish Government, and businesses, and is designed to support staff to bring new ideas to life through developing “intrapreneurial” skills, expertise, and workplace culture.


Brew ‘n’ a Chew will be open for two hours, twice a week. The food will be prepared by volunteer chefs from Loretto Care’s Mill Road and Hamilton Road services, which both provide intensive support for young people who have been homeless or who are at risk of homelessness.


The café will also be open to other people Loretto Care work for through their other services in the area.


As well as serving food, the café also has a new Click & Connect centre, providing PCs, internet access and IT training and support, meaning people can make the most of being online.


16 year-old Connor McSorley, who is supported by Loretto Care’s Carlisle Road service, is one of the volunteers.


He said the opportunity would give him the chance to build his skills and experiences, meet new people and boost his confidence as he applies for jobs and training posts.


He said: “This is a good thing to have on my CV. I am a real people person so it is good to come along and meet people and help out.”


Loretto Director Cathy Fallon said: “It is wonderful to see the café open. It has taken a lot of hard work.


“Brew ‘n’ a Chew will be a place for homeless people or those living in poverty to come along and enjoy healthy, affordable food and get online to look for jobs, apply for housing and much more. It’ll give the opportunity to build social networks and self-esteem.”


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