Lounge Update: Pausing the cafe during lockdown
This is a quick update on The Lounge’s plans for the next few weeks, as we navigate the challenges ahead to manage the pandemic.
In March 2020, we alongside many other organisations were forced to pause all activities during the nation’s first COVID-19 lockdown. Since then we have pivoted our plans (many times!) to maintain the delivery of our charitable activities. For example, Friendship Matters that addresses the isolation of older people and our after-school Youth Diner and which provides a social space for young people to connect. There have been some wonderful, newly created community events, such as the Scarecrow Trail, Letters to Santa and Acts of Kindness Gifts in December.
And we’ve pivoted the community cafe during this time too, opening safely as a takeaway when we can, opening safely with seating when we can. We have even secured a grant to invest in a much needed and long-awaited new coffee machine using an award-winning regional coffee supplier.
We’ve entered 2021 resilient and committed to making everything work. We have continued to deliver our charitable work and operated as a takeaway. Unfortunately our takeaway trade is restricted; lockdown since the 4th January and cold weather has steadily reduced customers and we are unable to cover our operating costs.
So, we’ve made a tough decision and decided to temporarily close the cafe from Sunday 17th January and access some government support to stay afloat. This will protect the medium to longer term interest of our community charity and give us a sustainable outlook.
Importantly, we can still deliver activity to keep people connected to their community. Our charity work with Friendship Matters and our Youth Diner has gone remotely. We’re also working on exciting plans to refurbish the café and kitchen interior, using funds donated by a local business. More on this valuable opportunity later – as there is much to do – and fingers crossed we make it all happen!!!!
So…with a good following wind and a bit of luck we’ll be open before you know it – with a pipeline of new community activity and a café looking better than ever.
Thanks for your ongoing support, you have shown us what’s achievable in challenging times. And thank you to our amazing team of creative and supportive staff and volunteers who make it all happen.
So, hopefully see you this week, pop down whilst you can and while stocks last.
Stay safe everyone.