NewsJCG gets a Workcafé

JCG gets a Workcafé

JCG’s new café, Hector’s, has now opened to students, providing a new space for dining, socialising, co-working, and events. With its reclaimed wood counters, pink and grey banquettes, and modern furniture, Hector’s is a vibrant facility where students can socialise, buy healthy meals and snacks, and take part in events.

Inspired by the Santander Work Café in St Helier, JCG approached Santander International to help them transform their computer room, reimagining the space to create a living environment with a different identity to the rest of the college.

Carl Howarth, Principal, JCG, said: “The project has massively exceeded our expectations and I have loved watching the reaction of students as they have seen the space for the first time. Their first reaction is ‘Wow – this is so much better than I expected.’ Their second is ‘You don’t believe you are in a school.”

Students chose the name for the café, voting on Hector – the name of Carl’s dog, a chocolate cockapoo who has been coming to work with Carl since he was three months old. The students were also responsible for the inspirational quotes that decorate the walls, and other design choices.

Carl said: “Working with Santander International has been a real pleasure and we are very grateful for the support and guidance we have had with the design, the project, and the very generous financing. It has been a great partnership. The students acknowledge how lucky they are and are very excited about using the new facility.”

The JCG ‘Work Café’ will be open from 8am-5pm in term time, serving cold food prepared by the college kitchen, to eat in the new space or take away, alongside snacks and drinks and, like all trendy cafes, it has a coffee machine, available for sixth formers and staff. The emphasis is on healthy, sustainable produce, with minimal packaging waste and no single use plastics.

Since the first Santander Work Café opened in Chile in 2016, this revolutionary concept has spread to nearly 100 sites across the Americas and Europe. The Santander Work Café at Charing Cross offers five free bookable meeting rooms, a co-working space with high-speed wi-fi, and food and drink from its barista partners Cargo.

James Pountney, CEO, Santander International, said: “Students have been at the heart of this project from the beginning, and we have been delighted to work with them to help create a new environment for the college. Hector’s Café draws on the ethos of the Santander Work Café, becoming a café within a school, not only a place for students to get food and drinks, but a living space for everyone to use in different ways.”

Santander International will continue supporting students, offering expertise in café management, event management and marketing. From September, the bank will also provide financial education sessions, equipping students with knowledge and skills around budgeting, saving and other important financial topics such as scam and fraud awareness.

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