10 February 2016

Empty Hampshire shop transformed into community café

Midas has helped transform an empty Hampshire shop into a café and community hub to support people with learning difficulties.

A team from Midas Construction’s Southern Division based at Hedge End revamped the former florists in Southampton into a bustling café with the aim of giving hands-on retail training and experience to young people from Great Oaks School.

The works were carried out as part of the company’s Community Engagement Week, an annual event for staff to give back to the neighbourhoods they live and work in. Over the years, employees have volunteered their time to carry out countless projects across the region from creating outdoor teaching areas to donating parcels to food banks.

Paul Strachan, Division Director for Midas Construction Southern, said: “Alongside our ability to offer industry leading performance and customer service, we are also committed to creating positive legacies in the communities we live in.

“This is why our annual Community Engagement Week is so important and so strongly supported by our staff who enjoy getting out in to the region’s neighbourhoods to help make a positive impact for those living there. We jumped at the chance to be involved with the View Café and it is fantastic to know that our work is helping to provide vital work experience for local pupils.”

As part of their role with the café, Midas removed redundant material, cleaned and painted the building, rewired the site and installed new lighting and flooring. The revamp was also supported by local suppliers JB Hopkins & KC Flooring.

The View Café opened at the end of last year and sees pupils with a range of complex learning difficulties running the social enterprise while learning about food preparation, budgeting and managing a business. Based in the View Community Hub, the café also boosts the confidence of the post-16 pupils and offers them the chance to gain formal qualifications to support future employment opportunities.

The café is a joint venture between Great Oaks School and The Groundwork South Trust, which aims to create sustainable communities that are vibrant, healthy and safe. All proceeds from the café are invested back in to the local Southampton community and the venue is also home to a number of community organisations, including an over 65s lunch club, crocheting group and disability friendship group.

Rachael Gatesman, Programme Manager, for The Groundwork South Trust, said: “Midas have been fantastic to work with. The building had been empty for about three years and needed a lot of work but they came in, worked with us to design the best café space possible and then helped to create this lovely venue. We can’t thank Midas enough.”



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