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.