Norwich Beacon café extends to reach more people
The Beacon Café is part of St Elizabeth’s Church in Earlham, Norwich has seen incredible growth in the last two years and plans to extend so it can serve more people in the local area.
The café is located within the church and is currently open three mornings a week for breakfast and light meals and once a month for the Kids Café service (which caters for over 50 children and their families and provides free breakfast for children). Each week the Beacon café sees an increasing number of both regular and new customers and provides an open access point for the community to receive support, build relationships, be signposted to relevant agencies and feel included in community life. Organisers have seen people connect to faith and come in for ministry and prayer. The café employs two people, and a team of volunteers help to welcome and serve customers.
The Beacon Café also hosts a Foodbank distribution centre on a Monday and Wednesday, providing a local distribution point for the area. Families in crisis have accessed this, and been served with a warm welcome, a free meal and food parcels. Additional fresh food parcels are also provided through the ‘picnic project’ which provides fresh bread, fruit and vegetables to accompany the foodbank parcel and to provide healthy and nutritious meals. Over 400 people are fed each week.
In the last month St Elizabeth’s has secured funding to help replace part of the flooring in the church in order that the café can be extended and be open for longer for the community – this is an exciting development for the café and in supporting its outreach to the local area. The café will have a fresh design and the team are looking at ideas of how to develop and extend what can be offered. The plans will include longer opening hours, a bigger range of food/meals on the menu, and a fresh new look!
Dom Ward, Chef at Beacon Café and Senior Youth Worker with ENYP, said, “The Beacon Cafe is a friendly community space allowing people to come and meet new and old friends. In recent times the cafe has seen incredible growth which has seen us running out of space. To combat this we are expanding the Café area so that we can accommodate more members of the community. As part of this expansion we are looking at further ways we can use this space to feed and engage with the local community.”
Danny Doran-Smith, ENYP Director and Pioneer Minister for St Elizabeth’s Church said, “the Beacon café has become a central place in the area where people feel welcomed and supported and we’ve been able to build a strong sense of community support and build relationships with local residents. We have seen at St Elizabeth’s how community mission has brought people to faith and we have worked alongside the local community to bring positive change, and we are confident that we will be able to reach out to more individuals and families as we extend what the café is able to offer”.
“I like coming because every one is friendly, great food, all the staff are happy and it is nice to meet other people. A lovely place to be in.”
“Myself and my friends come along to the cafe not only for the lovely food, but the great company.”
“It is value for money and the community”
“I like to come to the cafe to mingle with my friends and have a good old chat with other members of the community”
“We love coming for excellent value food, meeting with new people, enjoying the food and friendly staff”
For more information on the Beacon Café please contact; firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thebeacon-norwich.co.uk