The Cascade Community Café is open for business!

Our very first community café is now open and providing employment and work experience opportunities for local people with learning disabilities and head injuries.

The Cascade Community Café is based at our Health & Learning Hub on Marshgate in Doncaster and is run by experienced chef, Paul Sanderson, and Cascade learners.

Following a unprovoked attack whilst walking through Doncaster with his two children two years ago, Paul sustained life-changing head injuries and has not been able to work since. Before the brutal assault, Paul had forged a highly successful career in the catering and hospitality industry.

“Ever since we launched the Cascade Health & Learning Hub last summer, we’ve wanted to add a catering element,” explains Jackie Hewitt-Main OBE, founder and chief executive of The Cascade Foundation.

Continues Jackie: “When I met Paul a few months ago and we got chatting, I realised he was the perfect person to lead the Cascade Community Café. Not only does Paul have a personal understanding of what life is like with a head injury, he also has a huge amount of talent and ambition which is just what we need to drive this project forward.”

The Cascade Community Café is open for business

The Cascade Community Café is open for business!

The Cascade Community Café is open for breakfast and lunch from 8.30pm to 1.30pm Monday to Friday. Customers can choose from a tasty menu that includes a full English breakfast with two sausages, two slices of bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash browns, beans and toast plus a drink all for just £2.90, jacket potatoes, fresh salads and sandwiches, plus main meals such as meatballs with spaghetti (£2.85) or traditional fish & chips and chicken curry both priced at £3.90. Every dish is created using locally sourced produce.

Adds Jackie: “Paul and the team have worked so hard to get the café up and running and more and more people are coming in every day. We’ve had some excellent feedback from people and lots of suggestions about what they’d like to see on the menu as well as the idea of selling fresh coffee which is something we’re looking into.”

All of the proceeds from food sold in the café is put straight back into the charity to fund other learning projects and help grow other commercial ventures designed to create much needed funds.

Concludes Jackie: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I’d encourage anyone living or working in the area to pop in and sample some of the delicious food that Paul is cooking. And, by doing so, you’ll be contributing directly to the continuation of the work we’re all doing here at The Cascade Foundation to transform people’s lives.”


Cascade supports undergrad research

We were delighted to welcome Pam Batchelor, an undergraduate studying Criminology at The University of Surrey, to the Cascade Health & Learning Hub recently.

Pam, who hails all the way from sunny Colorado in the US but has spent the last 25 years here in the UK, is undertaking her thesis this term and the title is: ‘Dyslexia and Crime – a qualitative assessment of ex-offenders with dyslexia and those who work with them with the aim of reducing recidivism.’

Pam Batchelor visited us recently to carry out research for her Criminology degree

Explains Pam: “I’ve always been interested in Criminology, so after raising my kids for the last 15 years as a ‘stay-at-home-mum’, I decided to embark on a degree course in the subject.

“My son is dyslexic and, as part of my undergraduate studies, I’ve already written a few papers within the Youth & Crime module. As such, I started to ask myself if there might be a link between dyslexia and offending and felt compelled to find out more about the social reactions to dyslexia in this particular arena.”

Continues Pam: “I’ve read lots of Jackie’s work and how she has helped prisoners learn to read and write and ensure they don’t return to jail. It costs far less to teach someone reading and writing skills than it does to keep them in prison and I was incredibly impressed with what Jackie had achieved.

“So, I called Jackie and asked if I could visit her in Doncaster and interview some of her current learners, several of whom are ex-offenders, and find out more about their own personal experiences. I heard some inspirational stories and the time I’ve spent talking to everyone involved with the charity has been invaluable for my studies.”

Concludes Jackie: “It was a real pleasure to meet Pam and be in a position to help her with her research; we are always happy to help students and support the work they do to raise the profile of the impact dyslexia has on society. I can’t wait to read her thesis and sincerely hope we can continue to work together in the future!”