If you haven't already come across it, there's a 'new' cafe in Southborough (Okay, new means opened towards the end of last year, but that's hardly old).
BLISS Cafe, the brainchild of BLISS co-ordinator Elaine Lawrence, is a community cafe, dedicated to the people of Southborough.
BLISS - the Better Living In Southborough Society - is all about just that - making Southborough a better place to live, and recapture its community spirit.
The cafe, located in what used to be the Bang and Olufsen shop opposite the Library on London Road, is designed to provide a hub for the local community. Elderly people wanting a chat over a cup of tea, parents or carers wanting to relax while the little ones play, young teens wanting a place to chill and call theirs - it's all there at BLISS.
The whole concept revolves around improving the sense of community in the area. When youngsters hanging around on the streets were asked what they'd want from a community cafe, they said a pool table, somewhere to hang out safely, and somewhere to learn to cook. Which is one of the things BLISS Cafe can do - their kitchen is there not only to provide homemade food for the cafe, but to teach patrons how to cook too - genius!
With comfy sofas and a friendly atmosphere, BLISS Cafe is also a source of community information, help to those that need it, and somewhere to find out about local events and what's on.
The work in setting the cafe up was done by volunteers and with the generosity of local organisations, with some of the physical labour done by people on the Community Payback scheme, doing work on community projects instead of prison sentences.
It's a great idea for the area, especially when that end of Southborough at times seems more dominated by traffic than a sense of community.
They always need volunteers or help with funding, so join their Facebook group and help give something back.
I used to live in a flat just along from BLISS Cafe, and were I still there, I think I'd have pretty much moved in to it!
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