Inclusivity

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

The Fountain Café has been running for 11 years within our local community. We are currently only open once a week for 2 hours at our local secondary school and the team is made up of volunteers. Our busy morning café regularly serves food and drink to upwards of 80 people from a good cross-section of the community, including offering healthy options and catering for those with special dietary requirements. We promote inclusion by operating our café on a donations-only, not-for-profit basis and offering work experience to children and adults with learning disabilities. We also run pop-up café’s on a monthly basis at our local residential care home, Sunnybank.

We have recently applied for charity status to enable us to further promote our objectives of social inclusion, integration and well-being, as well as the equipping and supporting of children and adults with learning disabilities.

We are very fortunate to have a great partnership with Wyvern college, whose facilities we use each week. They have offered us the opportunity to use our current meeting space on a more regular basis. The headteacher has been particularly supportive with the café initiative... these are his words in support of the project... “ if the plans come to fruition, all of the benefits I’ve mentioned will be multiplied exponentially.  Better facilities, a more frequent offer, more diverse activity and a bigger ‘reach’ will have a profoundly positive impact on this school and the community which we all serve.”

We are, however, currently hindered and prevented from expanding this work by the facilities we are working with. The kitchen is in desperate need of an upgrade and in order to further promote accessibility for everyone we need to put in an accessible toilet together with new wider entrance doors and a ramp. We are unable to bake in the current kitchen so everything needs to be brought onto site each week.

If we were successful in our bid, the funds would enable us to complete the necessary works by the summer of 2018, and we would anticipate being able to engage with nearer 300 individuals from the village each week. We would do this by opening the café on more days which would also provide additional opportunities for work experience and support to those with learning difficulties. Our increased opening hours would allow us to build on our partnership with the schools inclusion programme and also enable us to run more pop-up cafés for those who are socially isolated. In particular we are keen to further develop our relationship with Sunnybank. We have loved getting to know our elderly friends there, spending time chatting and forming relationships over tea, coffee and cake once a month but would love to run these pop-up cafés more frequently. The improvements made to the facilities would also mean that some of the Sunnybank residents could come over to the café, a positive experience that we are keen to provide for them but is currently constrained by the limited accessibility.

We have lots more ideas that we would love to incorporate into our café such as providing an inter-generational meeting space where we could bring the elderly and pre-schoolers/students together and the provision of a community fridge and a lending library of books, toys and DVDs. All of these initiatives and many more, form part of a long-term vision, which will be made more achievable by the acquisition of funds to make the necessary upgrade to the facilities.

We have a heart to provide an affordable café experience that can reach every part of our community, especially those at risk of social isolation. By casting your vote for this project, the funds provided would enable us to put the structure in place to realise that dream and create a lasting impact on our community.

The Fountain

Location: Fair Oak

I am proud of the dedication and hard work of the volunteers who make this project happen every week. Also of the partnership that has been built across the community over the last 11 years and the impact that social inclusion and integration has had on everyone involved.
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