A local substance misuse service has opened Wirral’s first recovery café, offering alcohol-free fun for all ages.
Opened in March this year Nightingales Café, in Birkenhead, provides customers with a substance-free alternative to the pub beer garden this summer.
With support from Public Health England, Wirral Ways to Recovery set up the non-profit establishment as a community hub for people from all walks of life. Alongside Wirral Ways workers the café is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Complete with an outdoor terrace, its very own ‘big screen’ and providing freshly made cakes, fancy coffees and a range of hot and cold meals, Nightingales is well equipped for all occasions. The venue has already played host to music nights, family meals and football matches, most recently, during the World Cup.
Steven Kelly, Project Manager at Wirral Ways to Recovery, said, “Nightingales Café is about creating a safe community space for everyone to enjoy.” The café prides itself on reducing social isolation and strengthening the local community.
The venue aids the work of Wirral Ways, enabling the service to connect with hard-to-reach clients who may be struggling with the stigma of alcohol and substance issues. Steve continued, “you don’t have to be accessing treatment at Wirral Ways to enjoy the café. It’s a great space for people to join us for a coffee, without feeling judged, and talk about any issues they may be facing.”
Local woman Tina, a Nightingales customer, described several transformations the café has influenced as “breathtaking”.
Run on a not-for-profit basis the cafe, alongside their priced menu, operates a casual ‘pay what you can’ system, often donating meals and drinks to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
The café also supports the Suspended Coffee initiative which allows customers to purchase additional cups of coffee – or any other item from the menu - that can be logged and provided at a later date to someone who really needs it.
And that could be almost anyone. According to the Suspended Coffee website: “It can be for the homeless man you pass every day on the street, a stressed student in the middle of exams, or a mum who needs a five minute break. It is not up to us to judge who is in need. If someone asks, then they are in need.”
Nightingales Café is based at 88 - 90 Argyle St, Birkenhead and is open Monday to Friday from 8am – 4pm.
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Published by Wirral Council News on Mon, 13 Aug 2018 http://www.wirral.gov.uk