One cafe that will be even more in need post lockdown is Cafe Revival, who not only serve up great food and drink, but they are also a centre for help with mental health if customers need support. We spoke to Deborah Haylett about why Whitstable needs them and what they have been doing during lockdown for the community.
Tell us a little bit about Café Revival?
Cafe Revival is playing a vital role in our town by not only providing amazing coffees, cakes, soups and more but by also offering mental health outreach as a social enterprise with a community space.
We are here for a cup of tea or coffee and a chat with advice and help with letting people know which resources are available to them in a non-intrusive way.
Why did you choose Whitstable?
One of the main reasons was that our CEO from Mind in Bexley lives in Whitstable. The mental health provision in Whitstable was inconsistent and we wanted to expand into East Kent to establish East Kent Mind, so Whitstable was a natural choice.
What are you looking forward to most after lockdown?
We are most looking forward to being able to re-open the community café space, we have missed the welcoming and inclusive aspects of running the cafe and we want it to return as a hub of local mental health information.
Most of all we have missed our customers and cannot wait to see their friendly faces. Having the cafe as a central part of our mental health outreach is a different approach to other mental health outreach approaches and we believe it is truly innovative, integrating physical and mental health, food, community and people whilst raising mental health awareness and challenging stigma in a non-threatening or intrusive way.
How will you keep your customers safe on their return?
We know that even when lockdown ends the need to keep our customers safe will not go away. We’re very lucky to have a large space where we can socially distance and have huge doors out to our balcony that provide effective ventilation and outdoor seating in good weather. We adhere to all Government regulations and will remain vigilant with our policies and procedures to ensure the highest safety standards are maintained to remain Covid secure.
What has kept you busy over lockdown?
We moved completely online for local deliveries which has kept us very busy. We have lunches on Wednesdays and Fridays and have themed kids MAKE BAKE CREATE activity bags full of crafts and cooking/making activities that replace the family workshops we used to do in the cafe. Our friendly peer support groups have continued both online and in the cafe and offer an informal, welcoming space to listen, share and improve local connection and support. We have also developed wellbeing packs full of things to support wellbeing and treats to lift the spirits.
How can customers support you right now?
Please continue to buy online, share our social media posts, get involved in our wellbeing campaign, share information about our mental health support or donate to our pay-it-forward that is currently being used to support our partnership with Food Friends delivering food and mental health support to local residents in need.