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Norwich community café seeks donations to reopen safely

PUBLISHED: 19:51 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:51 13 August 2020

KindaKafe is seeking to raise funds to refit their site in order to adhere to social distancing rules     Picture: Emily Powter-Robinson

KindaKafe is seeking to raise funds to refit their site in order to adhere to social distancing rules Picture: Emily Powter-Robinson

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A Crowdfunder campaign has been launched to help KindaKafe continue to provide essential support after social distancing rules made it impossible for the volunteer-led community café to operate safely.

Located on Castle Meadow in Norwich, KindaKafe seeks to reduce loneliness and social isolation by providing a safe space for customers to interact, while facilitating access to mental health support via community groups.

“We pride ourselves on being a hub for positive action against social isolation,” says general manager Tom Gaskin. “Many of our customers are single adults that are long-term unemployed and therefore do not have a large support network. KindaKafe is a sanctuary in the heart of the city where customers can unwind with people that care about them and feel they are part of something.”

However, this sanctuary disappeared when KindaKafe closed its doors on 17 March 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Before lockdown, we 
were on track financially and everything was going well,” Tom says. “But suddenly our forecasted income disappeared.”

Tom estimates KindaKafe has lost £55,000 in revenue and remains unable to open its doors due to the layout of the building preventing staff and customers from adhering to social distancing rules.

“KindaKafe literally changes lives,” says Tom Gaskin, general manager at KindaKafe     Picture: Taryn Everdeen“KindaKafe literally changes lives,” says Tom Gaskin, general manager at KindaKafe Picture: Taryn Everdeen

“While the government has announced cafés can reopen, we have a small setup that is unable to facilitate social distancing even at one metre, so we’re trying to fundraise so that we can refit the café and kitchen.”

With a target of £18,000, funds will also be used to ensure volunteers receive Covid-relevant training. Donations can be made online with rewards on offer for contributors, including tickets to the underground tour of the hidden 15th-century undercroft beneath the café.

“KindaKafe literally changes lives,” says Tom. “People have told us they have more friends and have more access to opportunities thanks to us – and as a result they feel happier in themselves. By working in partnership with the wider community we can have a collaborative approach to tackling loneliness in the city.”

Donate to the Crowdfunder here.

Norwich Together Alliance

KindaKafe is a member of the Norwich Together Alliance.

In a time of isolation, helping communities to connect has never been more important. It’s vital for our health and wellbeing.

With an ambition to tackle loneliness and social isolation in Norwich, Aviva established the Norwich Together Alliance last year.

The alliance is a network of local businesses, charities and the council that have joined forces to explore how we can shape our city to help us all feel more connected.

The aim is to create a more connected and cohesive city for everyone.

Now more than ever, alliance members want to be there for you and offer the support and guidance you need to get through this challenging time.

For more information and stories on what the Norwich Together Alliance members are doing to bring Norwich Together, click here.


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