Cafe serves up success

Left to right, back row: Paula Davies (day service officer), Gavin Christie, Stuart McHarg, Jayne Whannel (day service officer), Karen Brownlie (principal officer facilities, Wigtown), Christian Tillyer, Euan Christie; middle row: Janine Lowrie, Patrick Sullivan, Louise Stirling. Mhari McFadzean; front row: Robert Bell, Leanne McMillan (care assistant) and Kenneth Cockburn. Missing from the photograph are John Kirkpatrick and Rosemarie Lenaghan.
Left to right, back row: Paula Davies (day service officer), Gavin Christie, Stuart McHarg, Jayne Whannel (day service officer), Karen Brownlie (principal officer facilities, Wigtown), Christian Tillyer, Euan Christie; middle row: Janine Lowrie, Patrick Sullivan, Louise Stirling. Mhari McFadzean; front row: Robert Bell, Leanne McMillan (care assistant) and Kenneth Cockburn. Missing from the photograph are John Kirkpatrick and Rosemarie Lenaghan.

The Merrick Café has been given a “healthyliving” award by Consumer Focus Scotland.

The healthyliving award is a Scottish government initiative run by Consumer Focus Scotland. Hundreds of caterers across the country have signed up to the initiative, including oil rigs, ferries, mobile vans, workplaces and high street caterers – stocking items on the menu that are prepared using healthier ingredients and cooking methods.

Consumer Focus said that the cafe had received the award “having met and demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the award’s national standards of good practice”.

This represents approxi­mately eight months of hard work by the team, adapting processes, menus and marketing to reach the requirements of healthyliving award status. The award is valid for a two-year period from November 28, 2012, November 28, 2014.

The Merrick Cafe is based in the Merrick Leisure Centre in Newton Stewart. It is a partnership project between Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Social Work Services and Leisure and Sport.

Using the Activity and Resource Centre (ARC) as the training and catering base, the cafe is based on the principles of healthy eating, home cooking, and healthy lifestyles with 12 ARC service-users involved. The project has recently expanded to produce “Merrick Delights”, a range of homemade preserves.