The Café at the St James City Farm

Funding from Ethical Giving has gone to support the ongoing use of the café space at the St James City Farm. The city farm is a community project that is free and open to families and visitors throughout the year. At the farm there is a small café space and kitchen that historically is underused. On busy days and during events and activities it is used heavily but for the rest of the year it is unmanned. This funding is used as seed funding to support groups and individuals who are keen to develop their own skills and confidence to open the space out for the benefit of the community.

At the farm we have many volunteers who are keen to get involved who may have learning disabilities or mental health problems: often associated with these are low self-confidence or low self-esteem. The café can be a great place to volunteer. It is a very safe environment, lots of support and often a very low pressure atmosphere. We have encouraged volunteers to just start off by serving teas and coffees if that’s what they’d like to do. Others have wanted to make sandwiches or cook food, or bake cakes. We have been able to offer food hygiene training qualifications which not only develop their skills and knowledge, but often provides a huge confidence boost.
This is still work in development as individuals come and go. Some individuals have moved on to paid employment elsewhere, others try to fit in their volunteering around family commitments. The aim is to have the café used by as many people as possible and for it to be an ongoing resource for volunteering and development opportunities.