A unique partnership involving a number of council teams and a service provider is serving up refreshments, training and carbon reduction at one of Wirral’s best-loved parks.
The Courtyard café at Royden Park, Frankby, was officially reopened by Wirral’s Mayor, Cllr Jeff Green, this week and is now fully operational again after being closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Although overseen by the council’s Theatre, Catering and Hospitality team, the café is being largely staffed by service users supported by Wirral Council’s Adult Social Services team and Wirral Evolutions, the council’s day centre services provider.
The café is serving up locally-sourced food and drinks on its menu and minimising the use of single use plastics (SUP) as much as possible. All packaging for takeaway products is compostable or biodegradable, meaning it can be recycled or disposed of in an environmentally-efficient way.
It hopes to add homemade cakes to the menu very soon as part of its commitment to serving locally-sourced goodies.
For the Wirral Evolutions staff – all of whom have learning and physical disabilities – working at the Courtyard provides them with a lively, open environment in which they can learn new skills, develop their confidence and gain valuable work experience.
And Royden Park benefits too – aside from providing an attraction for visitors, any surplus income generated from the operation of the café will be reinvested in the park itself.
Cllr Yvonne Nolan, Chair of the Adult Social Care and Public Health Committee, said: “It is great that these kind of innovative schemes for people with disabilities, such as the Best Bites programme, are still being developed in Wirral. I am delighted that the café in Royden Park is working with Wirral Evolutions to deliver a great service, great refreshments and great opportunities for their clients.”
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, added: “The café at Royden Park courtyard was always a big attraction for visitors prior to the lockdown and it is exciting to see it reopen in a way that provides real environmental and social value. It is also great that other projects that take place in the park could benefit from any surplus income the café might generate.”