Heysham Cafe brings communities together
Published by Tracey Errington for Eden Housing Association Limited in Housing and also in Health
Tom serving residents
There’s a new Chef Alex Burkhardt and new menu at Heysham Café – part of the Heysham Gardens extra care scheme in Carlisle. With a drive to maintain high health standards and services, the café menu is now full of freshly made dishes, having ditched the prepared ready meal alternatives.
This move has proved a hit with the local community as well as residents, not only improving their diet, but encouraging them to venture out of their homes too.
Scheme Manager Gill Walton has no doubts that the decision to only serve fresh food was the right one, as well as improving the menu she also believes it has strengthened the sprit at the 60 home Heysham Gardens scheme.
Before, lunch was served at mid day and by 12.30pm the dining area was clear. Now it is a buzzing café all day long, open from 8.30am - 4pm.
Gill said “It has been fantastic. The change has made a real difference and we would call the menu healthy comfort food. It’s given residents choice – if they want a main meal at lunchtime they can have it or a buy a salad and sandwich for tea instead. It also means there is somewhere for families to come. The changed have really helped give a sense of belonging to the place.”
Alex Burkhardt has been involved in a similar scheme in the past and has taken on 23 year old Tom Forster from Carlisle as his apprentice. Alex said “Residents who had never been in the café before have started coming down. It is all traditional food and we have healthy options. We have a couple of residents who are working their way down the menu because they want to try everything. It’s great to see the place getting busier and we now have people from the local community coming in too.”