A hidden gem of a park in Meltham is luring people back to nature with a daily mobile coffee van and free exercises.

The coffee van is owned by 35-year-old Jamie Owens who launched his business after quitting a high pressure life in advertising.

After getting the pitch in the Robert Ashton Memorial Park in Meltham in February he realised what a fantastic but hidden spot it is just off Huddersfield Road so has now organised free fun exercise sessions to attract more people into the park which features swings for both younger and older children, a duck pond, lots of wildlife and a large free car park.

Jamie’s partner is Becky Chambers who grew up in Almondbury and they met when she was living in Meltham. They moved to Manchester where Jamie worked in advertising but felt the pressure and ‘rat race’ of the life was having an impact on his mental health so they left the city and moved to Honley where they have a three-year-old son, Jack, and nine-week-old baby, George.

Jamie’s mobile business is called Step Out Coffee and he said that’s its aim … to entice people to spend some time in nature.

But he wondered what more could be done to spread the message about the park so teamed up with Slaithwaite-based fitness instructor Jodie Woodhouse who runs My Tribe Fitness.

Jamie pays for her to run the sessions which are being held every Tuesday morning from 9.15am to 10am featuring fun exercises set to music.

People need to book their free spot in advance as the sessions are for a maximum of 30 people but the first one was quickly full.

Book the spot through Jamie’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/stepoutcoffee or his Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/Cvr-tQ0oYDH/?igshid=MzRlODBiNWFlZA%3D%3D

If the tickets have all gone message Jamie on his social media and he’ll add you to a waiting list if people drop out.

The outdoor sessions Jamie is organising are called the Step Out Club and he’s thinking of adding more activities in the future.

He said: “When people visit the park for the first time they are amazed how lovely it is. We’ve had people drop by who live in Meltham and didn’t even know it was here.

“My ethos is to encourage people to step outdoors to take a break and refresh as I believe it can have a huge effect on mental well-being.”

Jamie’s van is in the park every day from 8.30am to 2pm except Mondays, including weekends and he’ll post on his social media if he’s not going to be there.

There are lots of benches for people to sit. Jamie serves speciality coffees, hot chocolates, spiced chai lattes, teas, soft drinks, brownies and flapjacks.

He ensures his suppliers are local so the coffee is from Castroni Coffee based in Huddersfield.

Jamie said: “Emiliano runs the business by himself, set up in 2020 and is in a similar position to me with a new business and a young family which is a big reason why I chose to work with him. He also has a great product and service.” 

The brownies are from Freckles and Curls based in Netherthong and run by Kate Godding who has a small home baking business.

The flapjacks are from Pud Bakes, another small home baking business based in Meltham and run by Sarah Brier.

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.