Wetherby’s first-of-its kind winter warmth café has become so popular, the charity behind it plans to extend it to August.
Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) initially launched the pay-as-you-feel facility at Wetherby Town Hall in response to rising food and energy costs threatening the health and wellbeing of people across the district.
The town’s first-of-its-kind initiative has been serving hot drinks, soup, rolls and cakes alongside games and activities in a warm, safe environment ever since- with up to 40 people attending each session.
Now it’s extending the café for another six months so that people of all ages can continue to benefit.
Mark Dobson, Chief Operating Officer at WiSE, said: “We knew this winter was going to be extremely hard for people, but even we weren’t prepared for just how many people would welcome an initiative like this.
“It’s clear that demand for this café is extremely high and the feedback we’ve had from local people has been very good. Even when the cold weather ends, people are still struggling to make ends meet whilst also grappling isolation and loneliness- which both form part of our core mission. For these reasons, we wanted to extend the café.
“The café is open to people of all ages- not just older people- and the idea is that people can come in, get warm, play a game and get something to eat.
“From time-to-time, other local organisations attend the café to offer advice on how people can stay safe, warm and well this winter- so it’s a real partnership effort as we come together to support people in Wetherby and its surrounding villages in a time of great need.”
The WiSE Pay-As-You-Feel café is open every Tuesday afternoon, 11.30am to 1.30pm at Wetherby Town Hall.
The café is supported by organisations including The Over Door, CLO Coffee, Sainsbury’s and Wetherby & District Foodbank.
Government funding has allowed WiSE to extend the café for a further 22 weeks.
For more information about WiSE, visit www.w-ise.org.uk