The shop and the café on the Littlemore Mental Health Centre site was formally opened by Mel Giedroyc, host of The Great British Bake Off, on Wednesday 26 June. The event which was very well attended included live music, a BBQ and of course cakes.
The project is now known as The Littlemore Lounge, a name suggested by and voted on by patients. The project involves people with experience of mental health issues running the café and the shop. It will give people the opportunity to learn new skills such as baking and a chance to gain experience of customer service so that they can move on to paid work.
The Littlemore Lounge has been doing well in the early weeks since opening, with the shop fully open for business and the café open three days a week. It is anticipated that the café will be open five days a week as more patients get involved with the project and the running of the café.
Plans are underway to set up some raised beds in the grounds at the back of the café and shop which will be used to grow produce for use in the café and to sell in the shop, creating an opportunity for patients wishing to develop horticulture skills.
The introduction of vocational qualifications in customer service skills, food hygiene and catering is also planned for those involved in the project. The project aims to support all of those involved to gain new skills and take the next steps in their recovery.