Community Café Directory

Cafe in the Park, Portsmouth

The Society of St. James is a Hampshire-based homelessness charity, providing accommodation and support to over 2500 people each year. The Café in the Park is SSJ’s latest social venture which, as well as providing a great community facility, aims to provide employment and training opportunities to local people with histories of homelessness and substance misuse. Community Cafe Advisor helped the charity submit a successful tender to the Council to secure the lease of the building then, supported the project team with business planning, building layout, staff recruitment and training, and business systems and procedures. www.ssj.org.uk/social_enterprise/cafe-in-the-park

Coram Fields, London, UK

Uniquely run as a private park for the benefit of children and parents in Central London, Coram’s Fields is a seven-acre site in Bloomsbury with large grassed areas, play-spaces, sports pitches and several children’s and youth services. It is a vibrant and diverse venue with a real sense of community and visitor numbers vary from several hundred every day to many thousands at large scale events. After being unsatisfactorily run by third-parties in previous years, the Community Cafe Advisor team worked with the park management on options to bring the empty café back as a ‘pilot project’ for the summer of 2019. This would hopefully be as a stepping stone towards implementing a permanently sustainable facility

Switch Youth Cafe , Maidstone

Much of the learning and experience that brought about the development of the Community Cafe Advisor services came from the founder’s earlier experience in launching and running this county town youth café. It provided an after school safe-haven, a wide variety of health and wellbeing educational projects, and was used as a private-hire venue by many different community groups. www.switchcafe.co.uk

Staplehurst Free Church, Kent, UK

This large rural village is generally lacking in good quality community facilities. During a church premises rebuilding project, the idea arose to use one of the multi-purpose spaces as a pop-up community café to contribute to social cohesion in the community. The cafe operated on term-time Saturdays throughout the year, entirely run by volunteers and was very well used by a variety of demographic groups from the local community.  BeanBag team members were directly involved as volunteer coordinators and workers

Discover U Wollaston

Discover U is a charity specifically designed to help people who have difficulty finding or getting employment.  With is lovely tearoom, shop, crafts production spaces and workshop it provides quality work experience to adults with learning or physical disabilities. The Community Cafe Advisor team undertook a business development review looking at staff structures, business systems and the retail offer to assist the charity management team prepare for potential expansion into multiple premises across the Dudley region. www.discoveru2015.org/tea-room

Cornubia, Par Bay, Cornwall

A dance hall built in the 1930’s, which then became an auction house for many years, was brought back into community use through National Lottery ‘Big Local’ funding as ‘Cornubia’. The building is well used for private hire for various wellbeing and leisure activities but there was no meaningful space where local people could frequently gather. The Community Cafe Advisor team advised this non-profit social enterprise on the reconfiguration of the ground floor to create kitchen, servery, seating area and community workspace which would be operated by an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

Paper and Cup

This social enterprise provides training and work experience to those in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and associated homelessness. The beautiful and popular coffee shop is run by the Spitalfields Crypt Trust, a leading recovery charity operating in East London.  Community Cafe Advisor provided consulting services over a two year period to support the charity management over a 15-month period on improving commercial sustainability, professionalism and procedures. www.paperandcup.co.uk

Kent Archives and Library, Maidstone

LKHLC is an edge-of-town facility housing the historical archives and registration headquarters of Kent County Council, as well as being the county town’s main library. In early 2016, the Council wanted to explore the demand and options for refreshments services as none currently existed. BeanBag developed a bespoke coffee cart and ran a 10-week trial in collaboration with the Council; staff included workers from the local open prison rehabilitation scheme. The facility was popular with centre users and the trial concluded that such a service would be viable if ran by a mix of part-time paid and volunteer staff.

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