On Wednesday 27 July at The Loft in Swanage, a room full of people came together to enjoy a cup of tea and a biscuit, and to talk. Following the lockdowns and the current cost of living crisis, it was a beautiful opportunity to have a conversation. The cafe will be open every week on Wednesdays between 1 - 4pm. It's free and all members of the community are welcomed to pop along.
This new initiative has been launched by Mario Sobczak, a BCHA resident, who has lived in Swanage for the past 4 years.
Within the first half hour of opening, a large group of curious individuals were happily engaged in conversation. A diverse bunch, who with very little encouragement shared interests and began to discuss how the café could become the conduit for community led activities as well as a place to relax and build a support network. Ideas abounded with offers ranging from joining a morning sea swimming group, the local walking groups to attending a drumming workshop. Mario instigated a game that highlighted the diversity of skills and experience present and how member of the community using such information, could support each other.
“I was very pleased with the turnout on our first day, and particularly with the positive energy in the room. I have since had positive feedback from a number of people who want to get involved. I now aim to form a facilitation group to add some structure within the newly-formed group and tease out the skills and qualities to help the development of the project.” said Mario.
Are you a Swanage or Purbeck resident? Come along on Wednesdays 1-4pm toThe Loft, Commercial Road, Swanage BH19 1DF (opposite Chococo). Or tune in to Purbeck Coast Community Radio at 10-11am on Thursday 8 September to hear Mario talking about the cafe (101.2 FM).
BCHA are privileged to have been present at the opening and in the true spirit of community coproduction will be leaving the next steps in the hands of those who attend. The launching of this Coproduction Social Cafe has been supported by a small grant from the BCHA Community Fund. The fund is open to all BCHA customers to apply for small funds to support initiatives that build community spirit. The next round of applications will open in October 2022. If you are a BCHA customer and interested, please contact Michelle Lewis for more info (firstname.lastname@example.org).