I recently spent a morning that certainly wasn’t my usual morning in the PECT offices! Rather, I had the opportunity to experience the newly opened WestRaven Big Local Community Café, in Peterborough.
As a very much community-led initiative, the aim of the Big Local project is to help enable Westwood and Ravensthorpe become a better place in which to live.
Big Local is a long-term programme that aims to achieve long lasting change. It seeks to empower people who live in the area to build on local talents and aspirations so they can help make their neighbourhood an even better place to live, both now and for years to come.
It’s certainly hard not to miss the café with its colourful branding and logos embellishing the front window, with most people walking past taking an interest and glimpsing through its windows. The café is ideally located amongst a row of shops and amenities in Hampton Court, in Westwood.
Starting off with a tour of the café alongside the Community Development Worker Jen Orrell, I had the opportunity to see first-hand what goes on behind the scenes at the new café.
One of the first things that you can’t help but notice is the warm reception you receive from the friendly volunteers who make this a welcoming place for all to go. It was great to see the enthusiasm and commitment that everyone has from the outset of a day at the Big Local café.
Some of the fantastic areas I was able to explore at the café include a training kitchen, purposely made to be wheelchair accessible, a community area, which provides a space to facilitate training sessions and a youth space for young people to utilise with recording equipment available to use.
Other features of the café include artwork on the walls, which has been created by local artists, the tables and chairs made from recycled pallet wood by people from the local prison and also the healthy and locally-sourced food sold.
There are lots of upcoming events taking place, including the Community ‘Meet and Eats’, which are £3 per person and are a great opportunity to bring together members of the community to eat and chat in a relaxed environment.
There has been a strong sense of community support, but the café is still looking for more people to volunteer. So if you have experience working in a catering environment and would like to dedicate some time to lend a helping hand, the café would love to hear from you!
If you are interested in getting involved and can spare some time as a volunteer, either running an event for the local community or helping out in the café please do get in touch by calling 01733 330040 or go to www.westraven.co.uk
Michaela Anthony is the Digital Marketing Apprentice at PECT.