HOWE TASTY COOK
I became involved with West Howe Community Enterprises around 10 years ago as a volunteer in the Inspiring Change shop. I started one day a week and found it so beneficial to my mental health, I ended up doing four or five days a week. It got me to socialise, I felt safe, felt needed and had a purpose to get out.
I had an informal chat before I started volunteering and was asked what I thought West Howe needed. I said it needed a safe space or café; a cheap place people could come and have a chat, and have a space to not feel so isolated. Just over a year later the pop-up café was born! We started in the Henry Brown for 2 days a week and 1 day at St Philips Church.
I feel proud that people have said they’ve missed a safe environment and it was good to have such positive feedback and regular customers.
My proudest moment was setting up the café in the Henry Brown and people engaging with it and it becoming such a success. I have kept some of the same volunteers since the beginning and we're a really friendly and welcoming team.
In the future, I want to see this safe space continue to grow and the community to continue to come together as one. I want our community’s mental health to improve with all the services that run alongside the café.
Thank you to all the volunteers and customers that use the café and make it such a welcoming and friendly place for everyone. I am grateful for their continued support and help to make this the fantastic place it is.