Sunderland community cafe hopes to transform the outdoors

A community coffee shop wants to continue to bloom by creating an outdoor space.

Monday, 9th May 2016, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th May 2016, 11:46 am
Tina Hogben of Miss Tina's cafe, situated in the firmer Southwick Library in Beaumnt Street, is trying to raise money to create a garden area to her communty cafe.

Miss Tina’s Coffee Shop was set up in the former library at Southwick in Sunderland to give mums a child friendly place where they can relax with a cuppa and feel free to breastfeed their babies without any judgement.

The not-for-profit business was launched by Tina Hogben, with the first coffee shop opening in Washington three years ago, followed by the Southwick one.

Now, Tina and the customers and staff, are hoping to raise £10,000 to create a beautiful outdoor garden where families can sit and enjoy a snack while the children play.

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Tina, who is mum to Kyle, five and four-year-old, Ethan, said the outdoor space is in a terrble state and a lot of work needs to be done to get it up to standard.

She said: “We applied for funding to get the garden done, but we were turned down.

“So we decided to take matters into our own hands and start fundraising ourselves.”

She said to get the garden area completely transformed with play equipment will cost around £20,000, but with £10,000 they will be able to complete the first phase of getting it safe and open to use.

Former teacher, Tina, said volunteers have already helped clear part of the outdoors, but they need to bring in experts and digging machinery.

The idea for the community parent-friendly coffee shop came to Tina when her own two children were small and she felt places were just not geared up for mums.

She said: “We are not a play group, it is all about the adults. Giving parents somewhere to come to relax and have something to eat and drink without being on edge all the time.

“They don’t have to worry about breastfeeding, or feel embarrassed if their child starts screaming, making a noise or drops a plate.”

To help with the fundraising visit