Into the Spotlight, sponsored by Huddersfield-based Scriba PR, is a weekly feature which highlights businesses which often go under the radar. Here, we introduce Full Circle Community Cafe at Brian Jackson House in Huddersfield.
A female-run not-for-profit business has opened a safe space café in Huddersfield town centre which provides a warm welcome – and homemade nutritious food – for everyone.
Full Circle Community Café is run by Healthy Hearts (Women’s Wellbeing) CIC. It is based at Brian Jackson House in New North Parade and opened almost three months ago.
The group has ambitions to grow the café and make it a heartbeat of the local community with skills workshops and training.
One of the founders, Louisa Houghton, said: “The café is big and spacious yet cosy and it’s a safe space to eat.
“We are open to all and fully inclusive and we want to remove the barriers around being able to come and eat in a café.”
The café offers a pay-it-forward scheme and a voucher scheme to help people on low incomes.
The group is currently crowdfunding to raise £7,214 to build eight workstations for cooking, baking and bread-making. They also want to install a bread oven and buy other kitchen equipment.
Kirklees Council has pledged £3,652 and the group is more than 60% of the way towards its target but there are only 12 more days left.
Louisa added: “We are pretty confident we will get there but it will be close. We still need people to support us.”
Louisa, Michelle Goodwin and Sara Rudd started out together as Creative Connections six years ago to deliver community workshops and activities for women.
They took on an allotment in Birkby and during the pandemic continued to grow organising small meet-up sessions. There was online cooking, crocheting and basketry at the allotment and also a walking group.
The cooking side grew from the group baking together in a local church and then training at a professional bakery in Brighouse.
When the opportunity arose to run a café in Brian Jackson House the group applied and was successful.
“Our aim is to serve healthy, homemade, nutritious food to the whole of our community, regardless of income,” said Louisa.
“We operate a pay-it-forward system and are implementing a voucher scheme so everyone can enjoy a hot meal in a safe and inclusive space.
“We are also keen to work with individuals, families and young people to enhance and improve life skills around cooking, nutrition and healthy living.
“We recognise the importance of community cafes for individual and societal wellbeing.
“For vulnerable, marginalised people, or those lacking confidence, there is often nowhere they can go that they can call a safe space – free from judgment or discrimination.
“Our cafe is inclusive to all, a place for people to be themselves, to connect and feel at home.
“Whilst Full Circle Cafe promotes healthy eating, we are aware of society’s inequalities around food choice. We want everyone to have access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate good food – regardless of where they live, their personal circumstances or income.”
Louisa said the cookery classes would be open to all and would promote community cohesion, cultural exchange and healthy eating habits.
“Groups can also use our space, benefiting from improved well-being by spending time with like-minded people, gaining support and making friends,” she added.
The café is open 9am-3pm Monday-Thursday and 12noon-3pm on Fridays.
To support the crowdfunder go to https://www.spacehive.com/full-circle-community-cafe