When is a coffee machine more than the sum of its parts? When it helps to give vulnerable young people the self-confidence to serve customers at a community café
Staff at a ‘wonderful’ community café in Suffolk, such as Paul Mitchell, have been given something of a confidence boost, following the arrival of a new, easy-to-use coffee machine.
Why? Because it means Paul can make a cup of coffee at the push of a button and doesn’t have to rely on anybody else to help him.
Café 66 in Kesgrave hires vulnerable young people, and the purchase of the new easy-to-use coffee machine – thanks to a grant from a local councillor – is making a real difference.
Cllr Stuart Lawson, local ward member for Kesgrave, donated £1000 from his Enabling Communities Budget to help the café.
Sharon Terry, one of the managers at Café 66, is delighted to have been able to purchase the new machine: ‘This really is so much more than just a coffee machine – it is enabling our café staff to easily and safely make hot drinks without having to rely on someone else to help them, which gives them great pride and further strengthens their self-confidence and independence.’
Cllr Lawson adds: ‘This is a wonderful community café in Kesgrave, which is staffed by young people with learning difficulties and disabilities – giving them a unique opportunity to gain new skills in a supportive environment and to build self-confidence.
‘Before the arrival of the new coffee machine, café staff were relying on a manager or volunteer to make the hot drinks, which they would then serve. However, thanks to the new machine, staff are now able to make their own hot drinks with the touch of one button, which only helps to install more pride and self-confidence in these fantastic young people.’
East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budgets support activities delivered by community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations.
In a response to Covid-19, all councillors allocated £1,000 from their 2020/21 Enabling Communities Budget towards a Covid-19 Hardship Fund. A further £45,000 was added to the fund from some budgets, though some councillors chose to donate directly to local groups.
This means a total of £306,000 has been allocated from the New Homes Bonus (funding generated through new houses built in the district) for 2020/21, giving each councillor a Enabling Communities Budget of either £5,500 or £6,500 to spend on community projects or to develop new projects in their ward to tackle local need.
Previous projects which have benefitted from Enabling Community Budget funding include play areas, village hall refurbishments and equipment, community events, projects supporting people with disabilities and the purchase of defibrillators.
Community groups wishing to apply for Enabling Community Budget funding should contact their district councillor or visit www.eastsuffolk.gov.uk/enabling-communities-budgets.
(Pictured supplied by Café 66)