We’ve such a fun smorgasbord of people and groups that use the café. Over the last year there was over 200 events with a socially conscious purpose. There’s mental health support going on around us every day from all sectors, but we’ve also got card players, toddler groups, the awesome sling library, dungeons and dragons; we host the indie market and the record fair, feel good day and all the others; then there’s the groups of friends, the people visiting home, the people with nowhere else to go. Everyone has a story to tell about this building and it’s amazing to see it be a second home to such a rich variety of folk.
We are active in our community and will always engage in activities that you may not be aware of. We stopped asking you lovely lot to contribute to suspended coffees, but we still give them out. We host the Terracycle scheme, we provide our space for free for community groups to start up and we engage with local efforts to develop things. We liaise with the homeless team regularly and will continue to advocate for and help (where possible) everyone that comes through the door. It’s amazing how often people turn up at the Café having been told that this is the place that can help – often by the authorities that should be doing the helping. Whilst this isn’t something we’d advertise and can occasionally cause additional pressure, we will always try where we can, because we don’t concern ourselves with ticking boxes – if someone needs help and you can, you should! And yet, we believe the Café is still a safe space for all and everyone to visit. We treat everyone the same and believe that people respond to that environment. Yes, you may encounter some people outside of your usual, but from our point of view, that’s normally a good thing.
This year the building even got recognised as one of national historical significance, one of only four surviving large-scale English Co-Op murals from the 50s and 60s. And with the ‘Three Ships’ mural in Hull under threat, it’s continued survival becomes all the more important. We’re incredibly proud to have taken a building of local importance and kept it going and feel pretty confident that it’d be lying in tatters, like so many before it, if we hadn’t come up with this weird café idea. You can read more about the building and how it came about here … https://c20society.org.uk/building-of-the-month/co-operative-pharmacy-scunthorpe-lincolnshire