Charity café at Cheviot Gardens opens

Published - 10 July 2019

Residents at a supported scheme in South London are helping to run a new café thanks to a partnership between Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) and a disability charity.
‘Down 2 A Tea’ café opened yesterday at Cheviot Gardens which provides supported living for older people in West Norwood, Lambeth.
Image of Mandy Worster and staff member from L'Arche behind counter at cafe

The café will be managed by L’Arche, a charity that provides help and support for people living with learning disabilities. Each week members of L’Arche will bring and sell cakes that they have made as well as help to run the café, and Cheviot Gardens residents are being encouraged to volunteer at the café as well.

All proceeds will go to L’Arche which is currently fundraising to buy a fully accessible minibus to transport members.

Cakes on sale at the cafe

Mandy Worster, volunteer programme manager at NHG, said: “We’re delighted to be working with L’Arche. When Cheviot Gardens was built in 2017, it included space for an on-site café which had remained empty and unused since the scheme was opened which seemed such a waste.

“At the suggestion of scheme staff, we contacted L’Arche which runs a community centre in the local area and they agreed to take on the lease.”

Lucy Winter, director of L’Arche London, said: “We have been thinking about how the L’Arche London Community might become involved with the Cheviot Gardens for a while now so when I received the call from Mandy, we jumped at the chance. 

“I believe this cafe will help build meaningful and long standing relationships between L’Arche London members and residents of Cheviot Gardens, and may even help tackle some of the pressing societal issues around loneliness and well-being. We are very excited to see how things develop.”

Customers queue to buy tea and cakes at the cafe

‘Down 2 A Tea’ will be open every Tuesday and Thursday between 2 and 4pm. At first it will only be open for L’Arche members, staff, NHG residents and their families, but there are plans to extend this to other members of the community as well. 
 
Mandy continued, “We hope the café will be a great success and help connect Cheviot Gardens residents with the wider community.”

www.larche.org.uk 
 

Menu and colourful cake tins at the cafe
Suzanne Godfrey
Communities Communications Advisor, Genesis Housing