by Shereen Devine,

When I talk about Leeswood, I often refer to Sunshine Café, and I wonder if I do this too much; however, it is a big part of the community and the Rural Wisdom project. On the 9th May, the Café celebrated its 1st birthday, and I feel it could not go by without a mention here. I have included a photo of the fabulous cake, kindly made by Anne, who is a regular volunteer. All the customers enjoyed a free slice of cake.

Twelve months on, the café is still well supported and is now self-sufficient.  We have an excellent team of regular volunteers, but there is room for a few more, especially when people go on a holiday or are unwell.

We aim to have a bank of volunteers that we can contact when needed. We are fortunate because we have a few people who still give a hand with the washing up. We have introduced customer loyalty cards and conducted a brief feedback survey. Joyce, another regular volunteer, is kindly collating all the information, I am looking forward to sharing with it you.

We also received a visit from Carol from the NDTi. Carol spent the morning in the café, chatting with lots of different people, and then ran an evaluation workshop with community members. It was then time for my interview. Carol’s interview skills are fantastic, so I felt very comfortable, I enjoyed the opportunity to share my thought and hopes for the project.

Carol and I then popped over to Holywell for my official launch into the community. We held the vision for change event in the Leisure centre, a great venue for community events. Helen Jones also joined us to discuss age-friendly community development. The event was attended a mixture of stakeholders and community members, including a couple who are moving to the area and would like to be active members of the community and wanted to see how they can get involved.

All of this fun in just one day!