PiP's Cafe & Community Hub, Great Field Poundbury

by Helena Conibear in Dorchester, England, United Kingdom

PiP's Cafe & Community Hub, Great Field Poundbury
We did it
On 1st April 2019 we successfully raised £22,000 with 78 supporters in 21 days

Help Dorset youth charity The Alcohol Education Trust move from a garden garage to a sustainable café and community space on The Great Field

by Helena Conibear in Dorchester, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Every penny we raise through the crowd funding platform will help us achieve our dream of building PiP's café and community hub on the Great Field At Poundbury this year. We have lots of fundraisers planned to help, but you can really help make a difference. 

So many groups, local charities and companies are helping us get there, from The Duchy of Cornwall laying the services to the site, CG Fry building at cost, Brand and Soul designing our look and feel and we have wonderful letters of support from the local Parkour club, through to The Head Teacher of Thomas Hardye school and The Town Council.  

If you haven't yet made a pledge and are able to, please do! we have some lovely rewards to say think you! 

PiP's café and community space

Pavilion in the Park

Can you imagine a park so large it will have a mile running track, shady walks for dog lovers and families with a thousand trees being planted, and an outside gym for those wishing to stay fit? Visualise a lovely children's play area too within walking distance of a thriving first school?

Imagine an all weather surface pitch and a Parkour ( free running) area making the space a hub for teenagers, with 2,000 being in walking distance from the local secondary school?  

Imagine a simple wooden cricket pavilion style building with a veranda at the heart offering shelter, eco-conscious refreshments and public loos to all those enjoying the park? Not only that, it will house a community space able to host activities and holiday clubs for young people as well as a vital training space for the children’s charity running PiP’s café and community hub?

What better home for The Alcohol Education Trust a local Dorset charity that works nationally helping 500,000 young people in 2,100 schools, youth and sports clubs make safer, healthier choices, improving their resilience and life chances each year? You can read more about us here: AET summary

Until now we have operated out of a garden garage and in 2019, our 10th Birthday, we have been given the wonderful opportunity to build a family and dog friendly café, community hub, disabled loos and office on The Great Field at Poundbury, a new development on the edge of Dorchester with 33% social housing. The café will help fund The Alcohol Education Trust’s vital work as well as offer youth training, employment and volunteering opportunities.  

Will you help us make it happen? 

We are half way to raising the £180,000 we need to build PiP’s café and community space, being built at cost by a local builder, CG Fry. With your help, we can secure match funding, 50p for every £1 you donate, through the crowd funding platform to raise an amazing £20,000 , in order to fund the roof?. This will also unlock other grant opportunities to us, so your support will really help us reach our goal of starting to build PiP’s café and community space this Autumn 2019!

How will the space be used? 

PiP's café and community space will be at the heart of Poundbury within walking distance of 5,000 school children from four schools, and their families. It will have an environmental and youth focus, but be welcoming to all. We will be as single use plastic free as possible using compostable takeaway cups, offering free drinking water and using local produce.

The café and community centre will ensure that the Park is used much more by providing two public loos ( one disabled access) and a hub for families and young people to meet in the heart of a green space with various activities for differing ages. Loos will enable people of all ages to stay longer, the café will provide shelter and warmth/shade and sustenance in all weathers and provide a focus for the Park. The community space will provide a flexible space for activities such as arts and crafts, holiday clubs, voluntary groups and clubs as well as for private events and training.

The AET will be enhancing its remit by facilitating diversionary activities for young people in particular. Boredom and lack of things to do is linked to negative risk taking including early and problematic alcohol consumption. The building will also encourage healthy lifestyles and will also support the AET’s remit to deliver training to all professionals working with young people in the provision of engaging interactive and effective life skills education. 

Families and children

With its proximity to Damers First school – parents and young children will have loos and a dry space for refreshments and activities enabling them to get out more and use the park for longer – keeping all the family fitter and healthier and encouraging walking to school. The café plans a happy hour for healthy teas and will provide space for after school and holiday clubs, arts and craft activities, and events such as treasure hunts, Halloween pumpkin carving and Christmas crafts.

Older teenagers 

We will offer opportunity to young people for volunteering, training and jobs as well as a space for youth and sports clubs to meet. Being at the heart of the park PiP's will help keep young people active and healthy, a focus group from The Thomas Hardye School made The Pavilion in the park (PiP's) their top priority saying that it would make them come to the park more. The café will offer teenage orientated early regular events such as ‘waffle and shakes’ and pizza nights. This will be supervised by a qualified café manager and be run by the AET.

Fresh air and fun 

The Café plans to host outside events that are family friendly, such as a parkour event for the club, family fun days ( such as a treasure hunt), encouraging park runs and walking for health using the café as a hub. The café would like to host walking and wildlife spotting maps for visitors and to encourage the park to be wildlife friendly. We will have have a bird feeding station and outside planters and seating.

Older and more isolated people 

By providing loos and a safe dry space the park will be used much more by people of all ages including dog walkers and older more isolated people. We aim to offer a value over 60’s lunch offer at least once a week as well as a supper club to encourage community cohesion. 

Supporting local businesses 

The café will champion local produce as far as possible, including supporting Dorset businesses, we will have healthy food offerings and lower calorie choices. We would like to link with producers to reduce food waste and will support Damers First school in being as plastic free and ‘single use’ free as possible


Why should you support us?  

Over the last decade, the AET, on an income of just £170,000 has supported over 2000 schools, youth and sports clubs and ½ million children EACH year with its training, resources and regionally based experts free of charge – at a cost of under 50p a child. The AET supports over 50 schools and clubs across Dorset, including The Thomas Hardye School, Dorset Teaching Schools Alliance (including DMS and St Osmunds, St Mary’s school Puddletown) Kingston Maurward College and The Teaching Alliance for Dorset Special schools with its resources, training, parent sessions and online support. 

Our impact on Dorset schools 

Head of MFL and PSHE teacher at The Portland Atlantic Academy

' The resources have had a big impact on my students and they are respectful and have learnt a lot about the power and dangers of alcohol. A lot of them have shared what they’ve learnt with parents/carers too'.


Head of PSHE Thomas Hardye School 

'While we have always run what we hope has been a relevant, balanced and engaging alcohol awareness programme, I have been delighted by the impact the addition of the Talk About Alcohol web-site has made to our students’ experience. The web-site has allowed me as the teacher to deliver aspects collaboratively with the whole class while also giving students autonomy to explore issues that engage them most'.

What do stakeholders say about the project? 

'We have been very pleased to see the enthusiasm which the Trust has demonstrated to  construct and to manage a building in the centre of the park, not just to be a base for your own work but to provide facilities within the park space that can be enjoyed by its users; a café; meeting rooms and publicly accessible toilets..

I can say with confidence that without the Trusts interest and involvement it would be difficult for a public authority to provide access to basic facilities such as food and drink, opportunities to meet and toilets on The Great Field'. Town Clerk Dorchester Town Council

'The café space and community space will be a wonderful addition to the local area. Young people at the school have long requested such facilities and this is borne out by your own research with focus groups. It provides a safe and welcoming place for youngsters in this age group to meet and I am excited by the range of activities you are considering. This age-group are particularly vulnerable to the lure of the pub because there is nowhere else to go to meet friends and to socialise. I am confident that the investment in these facilities will make a distinct and sustainable difference to the lives of young people for many years to come'.

Mr  Foley, Head Teacher The Thomas Hardye School

Your help will ensure we have a sustainable future and home as the café will help fund our work ongoing in keeping children safe around alcohol. Beyond this, we will be creating a positive community hub , encouraging healthy living, diversionary activities and community cohesion - we do hope you will help make our hopes a reality! Please do email helena@alcoholeducationtrust.org to get involved. 
















This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

Free hot drink and a cake to say thank you!

£25 is enough to fund a tile for our roof! As a thank you, we will send you a voucher to enjoy a free hot or cold drink and cake when the café opens! Voucher valid for 6 months from café opening.

£10 or more

Free hot drink to say thank you!

Voucher to enjoy your first tea or coffee on us when PiP’s café opens Spring 2020! Voucher valid for 6 months from café opening.

£50 or more

£10 voucher to spend at PiP's cafe

A £50 donation funds a brick to help us build PiP’s café and community space. As a thank you we would like to reward you with a voucher for £10 to spend when the café opens Spring 2020 or claim a Pip’s reusable takeaway hot drinks cup (collection from the café )

£100 or more

6 of 50 claimed

Invitation to our celebratory opening and voucher

If you are able to be as generous to give us £100 We do hope you and a guest will join us to celebrate our opening celebration in Spring 2020. We will also give you a voucher for £10 to spend at PiP’s café, and your name on our wall of supporters ( which we hope will be incorporated in an artwork made by a young person) at PiP’s café

£250 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Invitation to celebratory opening and name on wall

Gosh , how amazing! as a thank you we will send you an invitation for up to 4 people to the opening celebration of PiP’s café and community space and a £20 voucher to spend and your name of our wall of supporters. We are hoping supporters names will be incorporated in an artwork made by young people.

£500 or more

4 of 15 claimed

House of Commons reception, cafe opening & voucher

£500 is enough to pay for one of our lovely double doors opening into the park, or to pay for the baby changing facilities in the disabled access loo. As a thank you we will invite you and a guest to our 10th Birthday party at The House of Commons in November. You will also be invited to our opening celebration with three guests. If you're happy, we'll add your name on our wall of supporters at PiP’s café and community hub.

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