A new community café is set to open in Shaw’s beautiful Dunwood Park, the result of an innovative partnership project, where local young people have played a vital role in its creation.
Non-for-profit organisation Right Opportunities – who will run the café from the park’s McGrother building* – have worked closely with Oldham Council, Oldham College, Friends of Dunwood Park and voluntary sector to bring the property back into use.
Café Mandels will be a relaxing haven to enjoy food and drink, support local community events and serve local schools, as well as creating work related learning opportunities for young people and the wider community.
It opens to the general public on Saturday, March 26.
Right Opportunities’ commitment to making an environmental difference in the community has seen the group successfully receiving funding from the Green Dividend Fund.
Former Oldham College student Amanda Wright, who runs the organisation, is also working closely with the council’s Get Oldham Working team to create work-related opportunities.
College students have been working hard customising and upcycling furniture and designing and decorating the interior, which can now be enjoyed by residents and visitors.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Cooperatives, said: “I must congratulate the large number of groups and organisations that have got involved in creating this community café.
“It really has been a fantastic example of community spirit and young people wanting to make their area a brighter place. Not only will the cafe be enjoyed by local residents and visitors to the beautiful park, but it is also creating work and volunteering opportunities for the area.
“I must also commend the project’s efforts in making the café environmentally friendly, something we encourage through our Love Where You Live schemes.”
Amanda Wright, founder of Right Opportunities, said: “Our aim is to support individuals and groups to gain the relevant experience and to give an insight into the world of work.
“I’ve always dreamed of doing something like this but never thought it was possible. After more than a year of planning, organising and negotiating we’re set to open.
“The generosity, enthusiasm and general support from Oldham Council, Oldham College, Friends of Dunwood Park and Voluntary Action Oldham has been amazing. All have dedicated their time and effort to help support this project.”
Mark Rigby, fine art course tutor at Oldham College, said: “Our students have done a fantastic job and something they should be incredibly proud of.
“To be part of the design of this new community café, all the way through to it’s opening, is a wonderful achievement for these young people and one that the community can benefit from for years to come.”
Café Mandels will be open Tuesday to Fridays (9am-5pm) and weekends (9.30am-4.30pm).