REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley visited a community coffee shop which opened its doors this week to people wanting coffee, cake and good conversation.
The cafe at the Oasis Christian Centre on Plymouth Road officially launched on Monday (August 1) and its affordable prices and welcoming atmosphere ensured an almost-full house.
The much-needed and well-used drop-in cafe invites people from all walks of life and between 10am and 1pm on Mondays people can enjoy a hot drink or a slice of homemade cake for just £1.
Senior Minister Robin Baker said: “Loneliness and isolation is something that affects everyone and we hope that our cafe session will encourage more people to come out and meet regularly.
“Most of our visitors come along by themselves, but the atmosphere is so friendly and warm that everyone talks to each other.
“It doesn’t matter what your background or situation is – everyone can benefit from a chat over a hot cup of tea.”
For some of the cafe’s guests, the weekly session provides vital social contact and a chance to make friends, and for others it is simply an affordable safe environment in which to have a drink and a snack.
The volunteers who run the cafe are used to being busy and are happy to see so many local people using the service.
Project leader Dianne Tolson said: “It’s about bringing people together and we hope that people will come here and strike up new friendships.
“Absolutely everyone is welcome here and there will always be someone to talk to and develop friendships with.”
Redditch MP Karen Lumley popped in and shared her enthusiasm for community services such as this with the cafe volunteers and visitors.
Mrs Lumley said: “It is a brilliant thing to be able to come and talk to other people in such a welcoming environment.
“It’s a great asset for Redditch and something that should be replicated across the country.
“Oasis do some amazing work and it is important in these difficult times that people have somewhere to go and feel part of a community.”
The child-friendly cafe group runs every Monday and also has full disabled access.
Visit http://oasischristiancentre.org.uk/#home for more information.