Wetherby’s first donation-based cafe set to become a permanent facility offering support to people of all ages during the cost of living crisis
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Wetherby in Support of the Elderly (WiSE) initially launched its Welcome Cafe at Wetherby Town Hall to give the community much-needed respite during a winter of rising prices.
The cafe is now open to people of all ages as the cost of living crisis continues.
WiSE chief operating officer Mark Dobson said: “What started out as a short term initiative to help people through winter hardship has proven to be a desperately needed social and economic lifeline to lots of people of all ages right here in Wetherby.
“Although WiSE is best known for its work with isolated, older people, we really want people to understand that the Welcome Cafe is open to absolutely anyone.
"You don’t need to be over a certain age and you don’t need a referral - we’ll offer a warm welcome and something to eat to anyone who needs our support.”
The Welcome Cafe (previously known as the Pay-As-You-Feel Cafe) has had more than 1,200 visitors since it opened its doors on Tuesday afternoons from October, with patrons making a donation of their choice in exchange for food and company in a warm and welcoming space.
Now, with the cafe a firm part of the charity’s regular activities, WiSE says it needs more volunteers to maintain its life-enhancing work.
“We’re always on the look out for volunteers to support our core services and the Welcome Cafe is no exception,” Mark said.
"We can only provide this much-needed initiative thanks to the generosity of people who give up their time to make it happen.
"With the café now becoming a permanent fixture, we would love it for more people to come forward to help.”
WiSE’s Welcome Cafe opens on Tuesdays from 11.30am until 1.30pm at Wetherby Town Hall.
It is supported by organisations including The Oven Door, CLO Coffee, Sainsbury’s and Wetherby and District Foodbank.
The cafe also occasionally has award winning pies from the Yorkshire Pie Bakery on its menu.
From time-to-time, other local organisations attend the cafe to offer advice on how people can stay safe, warm and well.
For more information or to volunteer, visit www.w-ise.org.uk