Kirkby cafe serves cups up kindness along with free ‘amazing cakes’

A Kirkby community cafe which serves up free cakes and kindness is helping tackle loneliness and hardship.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 12:16 pm
Serving up cakes and kindness - Cafe 22 at the Ashwood Centre Portland Street, Kirkby. Pictured: Louise Webber who runs the cafe pictured at the the recent grand reopening.

Community ‘Cafe 22’ is based at the Ashwood Centre on Portland Street and reopened recently.

Much like any other cafe, the venue offers food and drinks, but unlike other eateries, everything on the menu is free – although there is a pot if people want to give a donation.

Due to Covid, the cafe, which is part of Ashwood Church, was unable to mark its one year birthday, but when it was able to, it reopen at the end of June, and staff organised a belated celebration and reopening.

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The Ashwood Centre, Portland Street, Kirkby. Community cafe grand reopening.

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Cafe 22 organiser Louise Webber, said: “The reason we decided to set up Cafe 22 was because we realised there were lots of people in the Ashfield area that were lonely, so we wanted to offer a safe place for them to chat with volunteers or meet new people.

“We aim to help to tackle the issues of loneliness, but also where people might be feeling isolated due to lack of money. It was extremely successful before we had to close for the Covid lockdown, but now we are hoping it will pick up again where we left off.

"A lot of society’s socialising revolves around meeting people for cups of coffee or food, but not everyone has the finances to be able do that sort of thing, so with us not charging for anything, it makes the cafe accessible to absolutely everyone in the community.”

Cafe 22 grand reopening - The Ashwood Centre, Portland Street, Kirkby. Pictured at the community cafe grand reopening are on the right Louise Webber who runs the cafe and volunteers Anne, Gisela, Pana, Janet and Christine.

The cafe serves “amazing cakes” according to Louise, as well as toast, snacks and breakfast items.

She added: “It has been a great success since we originally opened in April, 2019. We close just two weeks before our first birthday last year due to the lockdown, but now we have reopened we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone back and hope to meet some new people too.

“It was extremely successful before, so we are really hoping it will pick up again where we left off. We hope people will drop by for a cup of tea, a nice cake and a natter.”

The cafe is usually open every Monday 9.30am-12pm, and also in the school holidays, children are welcome.

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