New Wave Marine is sponsoring a cafe for the homeless in Plymouth – and is now planning to build a £150,000 shelter for lonely and vulnerable people.

Jason Parsons, managing director of New Wave Marine, said: “We have ploughed £7,000 into opening ‘The Garage Cafe’ in Union Street, and now working on ideas to raise cash to build a two-storey block containing bathroom facilities for homeless people, and meeting rooms, a needle exchange, workshops for furniture restoration and art, and housing for 16 people.”

“The idea is in an early stage, but very much part of our ethos to give something back to the local community. We’re looking at workshops to produce goods that can be sold so the building could be self funding.

This is the 21st Century, and we still have people sleeping rough in doorways.

“I’d like other companies to do the same thing. It’s about giving a little bit back.”

The hostel idea comes after New Wave Marine backed a city business, which has a lease on a closed down takeaway unit, to turn it into a cafe for the homeless.

The Garage Cafe has just opened on the famous Union Street strip, once the notorious drinking centre of the city for many decades.

The cafe only operates from 7pm top 9.30pm, and welcomes homeless people, the “lonely and vulnerable” and ex-armed forces personnel who have fallen on hard times, said Mr Parsons.

The West Country’s Friary Mill Bakery is supplying pasties and sandwiches which are given out for free.

“People can come in here, have a drink, something to eat, and it’s all free.”

“All the staff are volunteers, and we got the idea for the cafe after seeing destitute people in the area during winter. We have donated some of the furniture, did the electrics and the lights, put in new windows,” said Mr Parsons.

“It’s open seven days a week, but only 7pm to 9.30pm, but we want more volunteers so we can open for longer. We are already getting 60 to 70 people a night coming here.”

NWM staff have been helping at the Garage, named because of an old garage unit at the rear of the premises. We always need more help with kitchen cabinets, and other cabinets,” said Mr Parsons.

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