Catholic Care launched its first Community Café and Market at St Anthony’s Church hall, Beeston, Leeds during August supporting children, families and the older members of the local community.
Our research tells us that for disadvantaged families food poverty is only half of the story and that isolation also hits families hard, especially during the school holiday periods. This year we have piloted a new project ‘Catholic Care Community Café and Market’. The café and market operated from St Anthony’s Church hall, Beeston, Leeds in the inner Leeds City area from 9.30am -1130am offering breakfast, play activities for the children and a market stall for essential items. During term time we run a stay and play group from this Church hall, as a result of this we were able to use the toys and equipment for our Cafe. Families and older people from the local community joined us for a breakfast of fresh fruit, hot buttered toast, a selection of cereals, juice and tea and coffee. They could also stock up on essentials at our shop. This intergenerational aspect was great to see, whereby the older people enjoyed watching the children play, chatted to the parents and enjoyed breakfast and a hot drink. We have also seen mums and carers develop their relationships with each other again breaking down the barriers to isolation. One lady commented ‘We have enjoyed seeing the children play, had a nice cup of coffee and a brioche bun!’
Following the success of this pilot, we will be working hard to open more community cafes.