Exciting opportunity! We are recruiting a Café Manager

Cafe-Manager-AdvertWe are very excited about opening the Cafe for the first time in nearly 2 years and therefore we are looking to appoint a Cafe Manager as soon as possible.   We are aiming to reopen on Saturday 27th May.

We would encourage local people to apply the timescale for application and appointment is as follows:

Application deadline: Friday 12th May

Interviews: Monday 15th May from 4pm onwards

Start Date: Monday 22nd May

We are looking for someone with:

  • Catering experience in a high pressure environment
  • Good food preparation and coffee-making skills
  • Strong commitment to customer service and high quality standards
  • A good team player, with the people skills to work well with volunteers and fellow paid staff
  • Ability to manage others
  • Familiarity with food hygiene regulations.

The post is for 37.5 hours per week and is flexible and will include both weekday and weekend working, and hours may vary to fit within the café’s operating hours. The rate to be paid will be up to £9.25 an hour, depending on experience.

Find a job description and an application form here.

Please email your completed form to Rob Groves at info@lightshipcafe.org.uk or post to us at:

The Lightship Café, Grays Beach Riverside Park, Thames Road, Grays, Essex. RM17 6JP

Closing deadline: Friday 12th May 2017 @ 5pm


The Lightship Cafe completed its second season last Saturday.  A group of nearly 30 volunteers open the cafe on Saturdays from January until the Thurrock Council opens it in the spring.  

2 Last Saturday afternoon the project lead Beverley Hoyte gave a presentation on the successes of the project, Tony Fish the Mayor of Thurrock who had come to present certificates in recognition of the work of the volunteers commented that the project certainly seems to have hit all the objectives it had set itself.

The Lightship Cafe provided a waiter service for the community and a different menu from normal.  Parties booked in for Men’s breakfasts and Ladies cream teas. In addition Lightship cafe also sold Council stock raising just short of £700 for the council, which included over 30 bucket and spades, over 230 ice creams plus soft drinks and sweets.  The total turnover for the Lightship Cafe was over £2,000 for the ten weeks it was opened.

Lightship Cafe works with Thurrock Council to open the Grays Beach Cafe and provide volunteers to serve the community.  These volunteers are mainly drawn from 3 Thurrock churches,  Grays Baptist, Thurrock Christian Fellowship and Destiny Chapel. These along with volunteers who applied via Ngage were trained at a special induction day on site.  A manager from Cafe Rouge came and gave customer care training.  Five had received training in food hygiene via the Ace programme that Thurrock Adult Community College and Ngage jointly run.  First Aid cover was provided via volunteers from Triple L Training arrange by Nick Luff.

1Volunteers at the presentation Left to right: Nadine Hoyte, Katherine Harden, Keith Ford, Shelia Burt, Helen Ford, Andrew Blakey, Beverley Hoyte, Janice Blakey, Cindy Murray,  Norma Gilbey, Roz Bennett, Gary Jones,  Tony Fish – Mayor of Thurrock, Iain Sears, Stuart Gilbey, John Burt, Isaac Murray, Yinka Olaniya, Val Clapham, Stephen Easto, Matthew Griffiths,  Jennifer Clapham, Polly Hosking.




Lightship café opens up for a new season

THE Lightship café opened up for a new season at the weekend.

This community café, run by volunteers, is open each Saturday from January to March from 10am to 4pm at the Grays Beach Park.

lightThe Lightship café aims gives customers the opportunity to experience waitress service in a friendly atmosphere with freshly prepared and well-presented food.

Project Team Leader Beverley Hoyte said, “The vision for the project includes not just serving food, but also encouraging involvement, learning new skills, creating a sense of purpose, and promoting a healthy lifestyle”. The project’s motto of “Run for the community, by the community” says it all.

The café is staffed by over 30 volunteers from all walks of life and all ages, coming from Aveley to Stanford and all points between. It is the brainchild of a group of dedicated volunteers from local churches.

To learn the skills needed the volunteers have attended a number of training days and courses covering such area as Food Hygiene, Customer Service, till operation and COSHH. Some courses were in-house training, some part of the Thurrock ACE programme, and some external. As a result volunteers now have new qualifications to add to their CVs. The requirement for a First Aid presence is being provided by volunteers from Triple L Training.

The café serves full English breakfast, a “light bites” lunchtime menu of jacket potatoes, paninis, a range of sandwiches and soup with a warm crusty roll, together with a delicious afternoon menu of cream teas and a selection of cakes.

The Lightship Café is grateful to Thurrock Council for their support in allowing the use of the building, ngage and Thurrock Adult Community College for the training via the ACE programme, and Triple L Training for the First Aid cover.

Volunteer Training Day

The date: Saturday 16th November 2013 10:00-12:0020130623-121742.jpg
The place: The cafe Grays Beach Riverside Park

Our first training event for all those who have volunteered to work in the Lightship Cafe in 2014.

10.00 Arrival and drinks – (20 min)
10.20 Welcome & Agenda for the day – (10 min)
10.30 History of the project
– Aims and objectives of the project – ethos etc – (15 min)
-Ask volunteers how they feel about the aims.How did you feel when you walked in the cafe? – (15 min table discussion)
11.00 Job role stations- (30 min)
Volunteers go to stations around the cafe to learn about the different roles
11.30 Availability forms – to collect information for workforce planning/rotas – (10 min)
11.40 Menu discussion – to get ideas on menu – (10 min)
11.50 Questions and Answers – (10 min)

What happened to Lightship Cafe this year?

It was an amazing experience being able to serve the community last year running the Lightship Cafe. People commented that it was a positive environment. At Christmas last year The Mayor of Thurrock presented our young volunteers with certificates and lakeside vouchers.

So what happened this year?20130623-123445.jpg

Unfortunately late in 2012 the café had a fire which was due to arson. Although this was disappointing and affected our plans to run the project this year it has allowed us to have a longer period of time planning the next steps.

We met with Thurrock Council and they confirmed that we can run again next year. So we have a refurbished building to use and plan to open on Saturdays again starting in January and running until March 2014.

In terms of volunteers we have advertised via Ngage and Transformation Thurrock websites for opportunities such as washer uppers, waitering and kitchen staff, meeter and greeters and befrienders. Since that we have had over 10 people express an interest in volunteering.

If you would like to volunteer, the commitment to the project is to be available on a Saturday and be involved in training this year. We need to fill the role of volunteer Café Manager and Head Cook and other positions. If you are interested in volunteering in these or other positions then please make contact with us via the website or email on info@lightshipcafe.org.uk.

20130623-121742.jpgTraining opportunities
All our volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in training delivered by Grays Adult Community College via the ACE programme.
Training courses offered are
– customer care
– food hygiene

We will also be running our training induction training day in September.

“The lantern of the historic lightship has been returned to Grays and is a magnificent sight. The light has returned to Grays riverside. Go and visit one evening if you have time and capture a vision for Thurrock.” – Beverly Hoyte Project Manager.

Lightship cafe success!

Our first 3 months running from January until March 2012 were a great success.
The feeling in the community was that it was something different, a place where people were made to feel welcome.
A number of young people had their first taste of providing customer service.
We served 129 breakfasts, made 245 cups of tea and 139 cups of coffee and toasted 153 panninis.
We even manged to sell 17 buckets and spades and 1 pair of sunglass, not bad considering it was winter!

We are now off for the summer but will be back in the Autumn.

Volunteers wanted!

The success of this project is only down to the hard work of the volunteers. To run successfully later in the year we will need a pool of around 50 volunteers to serve on a rota basis. No previous experience is necessary and training will be given. You just need to be over 14 years old and willing. There are roles for catering staff, washer uppers, waiters and waitresses and till operators.

If you would like to be part of the team contact info@lightshipcafe.org.uk

Lightship Cafe Launch Event

The Lightship sets sail!
The time: Wednesday 14th December 2011,
The place: Beach Cafe, Grays Beach Riverside Park, Grays
The event: The Launch of the Lightship Cafe.

This event hosted by a group of volunteers and the Friends of Grays Beach Park was attended by members of the local authority, local residents and other interested partners.
This project started life as an idea to see the cafe in Grays Beach park opened during weekends in the winter for the benefit of the local community. Partnering with the local authority and members of the council, these volunteers outlined their vision to see the cafe in the park transformed into a community “hub” where people would have the opportunity to volunteer, be trained and have a place to meet.
Team member Gary Jones outlined where the idea for the name came from.
“We wanted a name to give a distinct identity to the project and something easily recognisable as being associated with the area of Grays Beach Park. The ‘Gull’ lightship has been a local landmark for many years and the light mast is quite iconic, hence the name Lightship was chosen”
Beverly Hoyte then presented the vision which included not just serving food, but also encouraging involvement, a healthy lifestyle, and a sense of purpose.
Jo Allison then opened up a time of discussion and a gathering of ideas of what this community “hub” could look like and events which could be run to encourage community cohesion.
“Monty” Kirby, local community champion, can see this project providing opportunities for local youngsters very much like Jamie Oliver’s ’15’ restaurants.
Gemma Riddles wants to see a healthy options, good value menu introduced.
Keeping an eye on policies and procedures is Andy Blakey.
It is hoped to open the cafe in the park on Saturdays from January to March 2012.

If you would like to know more about the project or for information on how to become part of this exciting project visit www.lightshipcafe.org.uk or email the team on info@lightshipcafe.org.uk.