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Charity behind Victoria Park's new café

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cafe-in-the-park-webRegional charity the Society of St James have won a five-year contract to take over the lodge in Portsmouth's Victoria Park this summer, following a successful tender to provide employment and training opportunities for vulnerable adults.

Now known as Café in the Park, it is currently undergoing renovation to provide supported paid employment for three adults and a further 10 volunteers will benefit from training under specialist support staff.

The Society of St James is aiming to open the lodge in early August as a café and creative exhibition space providing the south's best opportunities for residents who need a little bit extra support.

They will partner with experienced community cafe provider, Beanbag Café and use locally sourced produce, and have also identified barista training opportunities with neighbouring popular coffee shop Canvas Coffee.

Mike Taylor, operations director for The Society of St James said: "We are delighted to have this opportunity to manage this well-known building. We are planning to run a great cafe for everyone who uses the park, as well as creating a training opportunity to help people get back into employment. Please come and visit us when we open in August and help make this venture a success."

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