Café Inspire, Shrivenham
Café Inspire – inspiring the community to come together in amazing ways!
Meeting on the second Saturday of each month, in Shrivenham Primary School, Café Inspire is a multigenerational bonding experience for the community of Watchfield and Shrivenham and the surrounding area! It’s awesome!
On the face of it, Café Inspire is a blend between a craft workshop for kids, a chill out space for adults and a pretty simple café! Throughout the school hall there are activities including play mats with toys for babies and toddlers, seasonal crafts for the preschool and primary aged kids, and a games console for anyone, especially the teenagers! Available in the corner, from our fantastic band of volunteers, is a range of hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes and the ubiquitous bacon sarnie!
So, that’s what it looks like; but the reality is, it’s a place where anyone and everyone from the community comes together. The “more experienced” members of the village design and help the kids with the craft activities for each session, the parents come and read papers and drink coffee, the kids go crazy about it and everyone gets a hug and a smile, and leaves knowing that they aren’t just part of a great community, but that they make that community what it is!
Earlier this year, in addition to the usual Saturday sessions, we’ve also managed a fantastic musical session, bringing together an eclectic mix of musicians and actors, we’ve had a very special visit from the Bishop of Dorchester, and just last month, we had an awesome “charabanc” trip to Weston-Super-Mare, taking almost 100 Café Inspire folk, of all ages! It’s just getting better and better!!
Notionally, Café Inspire is supported strongly by members of the local churches, both Methodist and Anglican (who’d have thought that could happen?!), but apart from a very informal 5 minute “God-slot” or “Thought for the Day”, the focus is very much on the spirit of community rather than religion.
Completely self-supporting from a financial perspective, Café Inspire makes enough in donations to sponsor a young Ugandan boy called Elijah, whose letters and updates are on display at each session.
Yes, it’s just a café! Yes, it’s just some crafts and games put on for the kids! Yes, it’s just an opportunity for parents to have a natter with some other grown-ups and read a paper or a magazine that isn’t about Peppa Pig! But this is also a gathering of people, young, old and anywhere in between, from across our villages, that make our community what it is!
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
Over the years, Café Inspire has developed and expanded, both in membership, but also in the equipment that it uses. At the moment, before each session, crates and boxes are carried up the High Street and from the back of cars. Funding from Grassroots Giving would mean that we would be able to purchase some storage units that would be able to safely stow the equipment – games, toys, café equipment etc – within the school, allowing easier and more efficient setting up for our volunteers, whilst keeping all the paraphernalia away from little fingers when school is in normal session. Ultimately, it will mean that our volunteers can spend more time preparing and planning for the sessions, instead of lifting and shifting boxes and crates in and out of the school before and after each session.
In addition, the funding would enable us to update and refresh the toys, games and craft equipment, most of which were donated second-hand several years ago, to give us a really fantastic and modern set-up as the kids of today become teenagers, and the young parents of today become the “more experienced”, keeping our multi-generational bonding experience going for years and years!!
"From the Community of Café Inspire, multi-generational hugs and thanks to Grassroots Giving!"