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YMCA Scotland cafes not only serve delicious food and beverages but also embody the ethos of meaningful work. Every cup of coffee or plate of food served represents not just a tasty treat, but a step towards creating a more equitable and empowered community.
By offering jobs and training to young people, we create an inclusive and supportive environment where individuals can develop essential skills, gain confidence, and build a sense of belonging.
Our friendly and popular community café opened in November 2022 and has become a central hub for the Lochside community in Dumfries.
The 45-cover café runs on a hybrid subsidised model where income generated through sales is supplemented by funding which is used to support low cost and free meals for those who cannot afford to buy food or turn their cookers on at home. In addition to our regular lunch menu, we offer a £1 Daily Special which is also free – no questions asked – for those who cannot afford to pay.
We have a core team of four paid PT staff and a dedicated and broad base of volunteers, including a cohort of young people, some of whom have struggled to gain employment while others have come from backgrounds of abuse, addiction and poverty.
We also train young people in the art of hospitality, cookery, barista techniques and kitchen management. The Café hosts a weekly Youth Café, an Addiction Recovery Café, is a regular surgery location for both the council and Social Security and is soon to open a new Arts & Crafts club.