Water workers help pupils serve up a treat


Youngsters at a Jarrow School are learning new skills and dishing up tasty treats in a newly refurbished community café thanks to a team of volunteers from Northumbrian Water.

Picture shows: Epinay School pupils thanking Northumbrian Water volunteers for transforming their community café 

Epinay Business and Enterprise School runs a unique café that caters for its pupils and also doubles up as a public café where the pupils themselves serve the local community, as part of their NVQ programme in Hospitality and Catering.

Pupils and local residents alike are delighted with the results of the café’s revamp thanks to the hard work of seven
water workers who spent three days painting, decorating and cleaning the building as part of ‘Just an Hour’ the company’s employee volunteering scheme.

The school, which caters for 110 young people and children, age five to 16 years, with a wide range of special educational and complex needs, is currently embarking on an ambitious campaign to raise £1.6million to refurbish and extend the current school buildings.

Dianne Mountain, business development manager at Epinay Business and Enterprise School, said: “We are overjoyed at how fresh the new café looks and can’t thank Northumbrian Water enough because community support such as this is vital. The café is not only a great place in which our pupils can enjoy mealtimes but it also provides a live training environment for them as they learn food preparation and customer service skills.”

Northumbrian Water’s ‘Just an Hour’ scheme enables employees to carry out volunteer work within the local communities they support. Dave Wilson, contracts supervisor, said: “Me and the guys were delighted to help out; it’s seeing the look on people’s faces when they realise what we’ve done for them that makes it all worthwhile. We can help people who may have struggled to produce these results themselves - it gives us a tremendous sense of achievement and team spirit and it’s great that Northumbrian Water gives us the time to do things like this.”

The community café is open to the general public for lunch clubs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12noon where a balanced two course meal is available for £4.

Since launching ‘Just an Hour’ in 2002, Northumbrian Water employees have given over 69,000 hours in volunteer time with 44.9% of the workforce volunteering during work time. In 2012 alone, the company has supported 556 organisations across the region.

Businesses that are able to offer donations and fundraising for Epinay School are invited to attend the BIG ‘B’ event (Epinay’s campaign to build a brighter future) on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 from 10:30am until 12:00pm at Epinay School, Clervaux Terrace, Jarrow. To register your attendance please telephone Dianne Mountain on 0191 489 8949.


For media enquiries contact Philippa Clark on 0191 301 5538 or Philippa.clark@nwl.co.uk.

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