Having seen many lives cut short, and the quality significantly compromised, by poor choices made in reaction to stress, life challenges and events, and common mental health conditions, I am determined to create an enterprise that is both a welcoming and high quality cafe, a sanctuary in the city for everyone, that also facilitates positive change towards not only being well but thriving - as individuals and as a community.
This cafe will be situated in the middle of the high street, and also accessible from Mill Street, and will include:
- quality coffee, cakes and comfy chairs
- books, resources, and a touch-screen signposting service
- an in-house listening service, in a separate and private, although equally comfy and accessible space
- weekly creative workshops, including arts, writing, public speaking, music and comedy
- art studio and gallery
- local and national guest speakers
- inter-generational projects, and community project planning
We envision that this will be a place for everyone, and will be an ideal place to relax, connect and find inspiration.
The High Street Entrance to The Well, which will lead onto our courtyard, complete with outdoor heaters, lighting and an actual Wishing Well. From there you can enter the Cafe, Reading Room, Art Studio and Gallery, with separate 1st Floor Room for Listening Services and more!
THE TEAM is comprised of Andy and Jess, who run All Strong Scotland CIC, Perth's Scott Street gym for total wellbeing, Katie Edgar, founder of Well Minds Listening CIC, and Linda Fisken, founder of Linda's Ladies, local talking group for mental health.
STATEMENTS of SUPPORT
We have also received the following statements of support from local authorities, local charities and community groups, which helps to illustrate the need and hopeful impact and benefits this project will bring to Perth.
Perth & Kinross Council
"In relation to the proposal for a Community Resilience & Wellbeing Cafe Project at 163 High Street I would like to write a short statement of support in my role as Service Manager for Communities for Perth and Kinross Council.
Generally speaking the city centre is well served by voluntary organisations and services providing crisis support for those with addictions or mental health issues, however there is a gap for community led holistic support for people wishing to increase their resilience, learn new coping mechanisms and skills and connect socially with others in similar circumstances. This would assist early intervention and prevention and prevent people falling into crisis. Perth city centre is an area of polarised inequalities and our research has told us that some people struggle to connect with services and the wide range of activities that take place there. This issue is likely to be have been exacerbated by COVID-19 and the lockdown phase. We would like to see the Community Resilience & Wellbeing Cafe Project progress and we are supporting the development of the project at this stage."
David Stokoe, Service Manager Communities, Culture and Community Services, Corporate and Democratic Services
The Health & Social Care Partnership
'For some time now, there has been a growing need for a wellbeing hub/provision to be established within Perth and Kinross. The Health and Social Care partnership feel that All Strong Scotland's vision around this fits clearly with our overall ambition of promoting recovery, community resilience and peer support. This will be a key component of our Mental Health & Wellbeing Action Plan for Perth and Kinross and it is envisaged that our 3rd Sector colleagues will be in a prime position to drive this important agenda forward. It is believed that through collaborative working and sharing of ideas, projects such as All Strong Scotland will contribute significantly to the improved Mental Health and Wellbeing of our local communities.'
Chris Lamont, Perth City Health Locality Manager
Firstport, delivering the Social Entrepreneurs Fund
“Andrew and the team at All Strong were ahead of the curve when they initially approached Firstport for Start It funding, and have gone on to reinvent the concept of physical and mental health services for those who have traditionally struggled to access them. Andrew went on to success at Build It level and has proven to be an exceptional awardee all round, proving himself remarkably resilient and adaptable during what has been a challenging time for any and all enterprises which work in close physical contact with their beneficiaries.
With new plans to boost community resilience and providing support for other social enterprises in the area, we currently anticipate further excellent applications at Boost It and (potentially) Launch Me level, which should confirm my personal belief that All Strong is a highly investible social enterprise providing long-term meaningful social impact.”
Lead Relationship Manager
ESOL of Perth (Language School and Charity) (Linda El-Miligy, main director, supports students not only in learning English, but in integrating to their new country and feeling welcome and comfortable, and we feel that our cafe will help to facilitate in all these areas. We are currently looking at a representative from ESOL of Perth potentially becoming a Director of Cafe Well CIC, to further our collaboration.
Cafe Well CIC and ESOL of Perth are currently submitting a parallel application to become Centres of Sanctuary.
We are delighted to hear from you about the proposed cafe in the High Street. This will be a brilliant meeting place for our students and we will be sure to visit.
You have a very old well at the back of the building and we are very keen on any history in Perth city as we have a programme, called ''Walk and Talk in Perth''. This is part of our Esol programme which develops our students' knowledge of Perth and helps develop a sense of identity, whilst also practising their English.
An open and friendly cafe that is not too expensive and not a chain, will be great in our High Street and we look forward to visiting you soon!"
“This proposal from Scotland All Strong CIC is something Perth City Centre has desperately needed for many years. As a provider of mental health services we know that this project will bring much needed and diverse wellbeing support to the local community and one that we will certainly engage with, at all levels.”
Jillian Milne, CEO of Mindspace Limited
We thank everyone who has pledged their support so far. We have submitted our main funding application to the National Lottery for consideration, and the project will benefit from every bit of support received through the Aviva Community Fund!
Andy, Jess, Linda, Katie and Ashleigh