Sunday School Tea Rooms launch with help from students
The Sunday School Tea Rooms, based within Oxford Place in the city centre, is a not-for-profit venture, run by charity No Going Back, which offers free legal advice to vulnerable asylum seekers.
The aim of the café is to give clients of the charity hope as well as to improve their skills for future work in this country or in their home country, should they be returned there. The Sunday School Tea Rooms sells hot food in the café and arranges office sandwich runs across the city, with all proceeds going to the charity.
In January, final year Leeds Beckett BA (Hons) Business and Management students, Natalie Smith and Jennifer Islip, began work with No Going Back as volunteer Project Managers, organised through the University Students’ Union Volunteering programme.
Since January, Natalie and Jennifer have been involved in: advertising for and recruiting a paid café manager and team of volunteers; designing and planning the layout of the café; meeting with other not-for-profit café managers to gain insight into how best to run the project; organising the staff induction; managing the refurbishment of the cafe's premises; and setting up and managing the café’s social media marketing.
Speaking about the project, Natalie said: “The café is now up and running and Jen and I are continuing to work as project managers, looking after any issues with staff and volunteers, liaising between the staff at the café and those within the charity, we are involved in making all key decisions for the café. We’ve also been busy organising the grand opening on 10 June.
“We are really fortunate that the No Going Back team allowed us to get so heavily involved in such a project, and it has been an absolutely fantastic opportunity for us! All at the charity seem really happy with our progress and contribution, and we are looking forward to welcoming people to the grand opening so they can see the exciting things we have been up to!”
Jennifer added: “We have really been able to develop our business skills through this venture, and this opportunity has allowed us to take charge of a real-life project and bring it to light. We are so fortunate that No Going Back have allowed us to take on such a rewarding challenge and we have both really loved this experience - we highly recommend getting involved in projects like this one!"
The café will be officially launched at the special event on Wednesday 10 June at 6pm, which is an invite-only buffet. The café will also be open as normal during the day, from 10am to 2pm.
Natalie and Jennifer will soon be looking for new Leeds Beckett students to take over as project managers when they graduate. If you are interested, please contact email@example.com