Community café serves up friendship and fun for Acomb residents
Updated 8:22am Friday 25th April 2014 in News
A COMMUNITY café set up for the six weeks of last summer has proved such a success with locals that it's still going strong nine months later.
The café runs every Wednesday morning at Lidgett Grove Methodist Church in Acomb, and has fast become a social highlight in the area.
Run by volunteers from the church and the community, the café began after research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) showed local people thought the lack of a place to meet was one of the main causes of loneliness in the area, and the church offered its space.
Almost a year later the café has been nominated for The Press's Community Pride awards as Community Project of the Year.
Children's centre worker Bobby Weldon, who helped set it up, has put the project forward because of the team work from volunteers which has made it a success.
It has become a regular meeting point for people in the area, Bobby said. "It's a little dot in the map for local people to come to that wasn't there a year ago."
She added: "It feels really lovely. It's nothing fancy, there are no bells and whistles, but everybody pitches in.
"I feel very honoured to have been involved in this project from the very start and very grateful to have wonderful Wednesday mornings working there and meeting people."
Although the café started as a way to help parents and families during the summer holidays, the café was soon welcoming as many as 100 people of all ages and at the end of the holidays organisers decided to run another six-week trial.
Even once children went back to school the café proved popular with older people, families with young children, and local childminders.
Bobby said: "There's a group of elderly people who met at the café and now come to knit together, grandparents looking after grandchildren, and a core group of people who come every week as well as newcomers."
The café is almost entirely run by volunteers with help from Bobby and Anna Harrison, the church's admin worker.
Now one volunteer runs a book group and book exchange and two childminders have started to organise a song time and craft activities for children.
The project has stuck to its original aims of being affordable and accessible, and supporting local businesses by buying cakes each week from caterer Maw Maw Pidds.
The Community Project of the Year award, sponsored by the JRF, is for projects carried out by an informal, non-recognised voluntary group.
For more information on this or any of the Community Pride nominations, go to yorkpress.co.uk/pride.
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