I am very pleased to announce that the Charity receiving the first Grant of £10,000 from Dougie’s Grant is the Mill Street Community Cafe.
Dad would be so happy to know that the Grant has gone to this Charity who reach out to so many people throughout the community.
The money is to provide the Mill Street Community Cafe with a brand new kitchen and equipment and Dad would definitely have approved. He loved cooking good, healthy food made with fresh ingredients. He loved his kitchen and he cooked right up until the very end. I have included a few foody photos of Dad.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those charities who applied for Dougie’s Grant this year, all worthy causes but sadly only one Charity can receive the Grant each year. I look forward to receiving your applications next October for Dougie’s Grant 2023 and reading about your plans to improve the lives of the people of Guernsey.
I would also like to thank Jon Marquis and the staff of the Collas Crill Trust for their support and for making this Gift possible.
Thank you Dad for walking beside me and guiding me during this first, painful year of being without you. You are sadly missed.
Michelle and Brian
How the Mill Street Community Cafe is helping the Guernsey community
We are open from Wednesdays until Saturdays, from 10-2pm. Hot meals and snacks and drinks are served. Those who genuinely cannot afford to pay do not have to. Their costs are covered by the generous donations made by other clients (“pay it forward” scheme / “pending coffees”)
We also work closely with the Guernsey Welfare charity. They often provide us with food which has been donated to them (from supermarkets such as Waitrose, for example). Once a month we cook dinner for them.
We have hosted a variety of other events since we opened last year – fundraising for local charities and Ukrainian refugees. We host the Liberate Art Club every Saturday and have catered for several Liberate events during the last 12 months.
We have recently started an outside catering side-line! We offer buffet lunches local businesses and organisations and deliver the food to them. This brings in extra income and has taken off most successfully.
In future we are hoping to work with other agencies such as Action for Children and Home Start in order to teach families basic cookery skills. There is a great need for this at present due to the cost of living increases. Some people live off ready meals and could budget more effectively if they had better skills.
We asked one of our “frequent fliers” about what the café means to him – at the time of writing he was in a very bad place, but fortunately, life has improved enormously for him recently. We can’t claim to be responsible for that, but we do like to think that we helped him during his time of need.
“What is a community café"?
I’m hungry, I’m homeless. I’ve no money. If it wasn’t for the café, I’d be out on the streets, with the rain falling down on me. I’m not a scrounger – I have worked all my life and now I am living on my pension. Here at the café I can get warm and have something to eat and feel as though I am with friends who really care.”
We accept volunteers from all walks of life. Some are retired, others are coming to us as part of their corporate responsibility at work. We have people who cannot hold down regular employment for medical reasons, and we also have had ex-offenders working with us in the past. We have young people with special needs as well and also offer placements to young people who are completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award or the International Baccalaureat. Safeguarding is therefore a major issue which we are keen to address correctly.
We offer the café to other users as a hub for social venues. We recently hosted a salsa dancing and tapas evening, and the local Kenyan and Goan communities have used the café as a venue for social events.
As we widen our net, we have also been asked to cater for the Home Start Children’s Christmas party on December 3rd. There will be approximately 200 people there! We are cooking lunch on December 13th for the Action for Children charity.
We will provide a Christmas lunch on December 25 for any of our clients who would otherwise be alone on that day. We have done this 4 times in previous years.
We have been approached by the Health Improvement Commission to start providing food for the Sylvans football club for children after their matches. This will begin on December 9th.