Social enterprise moves into Leicester Library

A LOCAL social enterprise that aims to help people get back into work has taken on the running of a community cafe at New Parks Centre Library in Leicester.

Tomorrowtogether has taken on management of the cafe, which will employ a cafe manager and offer work experience to around nine volunteers.

The cafe originally opened in 2010 as part of the launch of the new library and was funded for two years through the Big Lottery Fund.

As well as offerings a range of refreshments for people using the centre’s facilities, the cafe has provided work experience opportunities for around 20 local people to date.

With funding coming to an end, the future of the cafe was under threat. In a bid to keep the project running, Leicester City Council invited bids from organisations interested in taking on the operational lease for the cafe. The contract was awarded to Tomorrowtogether on a 12-month basis.

Cllr Sarah Russell, Assistant City Mayor for neighbourhood services, said: “I’m really pleased that we have been able to work with Tomorrowtogether to ensure the future of this popular cafe. I’m sure that the cafe will continue to attract more of the local community to explore the library and the many services it offers.”

Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, director of Tomorrowtogether, said: “I was very impressed by the vibrancy of the cafe and the positive impact it has had on the skills and confidence of the volunteers working there. We want to continue and expand on that work.”

The cafe is open on Mondays from 8.30am to 2pm, and from Tuesday to Friday, 8.30am until 4pm.

Tomorrowtogether is a Leicester-based social enterprise that provides training, work experience and support to help the long term unemployed get back into work.

Recession boosts on-line sales

Recent newsletters are suggesting that now is a good time to get into or to expand on-line selling.

During the continuing recession, consumers are looking at how to manage their spending, to get more for their squeezed purses and wallets.

This  has brought about a trend towards on-line shopping, away from high street retail outlets.

The evidence points to a growth in demand for those Internet shopping outlets that offer better prices than even the supermarkets and high street chain stores.

Manufacturers with on-line outlets are therefore seeing the advantage of selling over the ‘Net to secure more sales and high levels of profit. The recession is precisely the time when retailers need to invest in their on-line stores.

With the increased price of fuel for domestic vehicles, shoppers are seeing the advantage of staying at home to purchase those things which they do not need to get into their cars to go out and buy.