Our team run two main projects in and around Normanton. One supports and advocates for refugees and asylum seekers and the other works with the Roma community providing advocacy services through a Roma led organisation Roma Communtiy Care. We are one of the few organisations remaining that provides open access youth provisions in the area along with targeted support to young people at risk of exclusion from school and other complex needs.
We are a small team that are passionate and committed to challenging social exclusion and discrimination. We have taken on this project despite financial and staff capacity limitations because we truly believe in its potential. At the moment we have opened the cafe with no funding, but there is an immense amount of community spirit behind us driving the initiative forward.
Our idea it is to use the cafe to create a safe space for people of all faiths, beliefs and none to come together and celebrate the diverse cultures and individuals in the area. As Arboretum Park is so important historically we also plan to encourage people from outside the area to visit the park. We seek to turn this cafe into more than a cafe, we envision this cafe as being at the centre of, the heart of the communtiy. We want to create and support community based initiatives such as Afternoon teas for refugees and asylum seekers, Eid celebrations, Diwali Festival of Lights, drop in support sessions and more.
We also want to provide more opportunities for young people to get involved in their communities by supporting their involvement in community initiatives and giving them working opportunities through the youth leadership programme which runs alongside the cafes normal business.
The money we raise will go towards more equipment for the cafe, so that we can start providing healthy and nutritious meals (and some naughty treats!) to residents and allow us to take forward the initiative to feed those less forunate than us with leftovers and food donations that we receive. It will allow us to provide a permanent member of staff to manage the cafe which will free up the team to carry out their projects and community initiatives knowing the cafe is in good hands. If we raise enough we will also buy new and improved equipment as currently we are relying on donations.
To make this dream happen we need your support to keep this cafe going. We are currently doing it with no funding but we believe in this project. The community spirit and support we’ve gained since we opened has been amazing. Let’s keep it open and bring the communtiy together in stead of living parallel lives. Let’s put the heart back into the park.