Our community champion this week is Julie Taylor, who runs The Café at St Peter’s, which is described as “a community hub” and the “the social heart of the hospital” by people who use it.
Not only is it the place to go for a snack or a cuppa, but Julie also encourages use of The Café as a meeting place for community organisations including the local Dementia Group. Charities in the area such as Farleigh Hospice also have fundraising stalls there – and there’s no charge to any groups for this sort of activity.
On top of this, The Café serves as the staff canteen and a welcoming restaurant for both patients and visitors. Julie provides tasty, wholesome meals with many of the ingredients coming from local sources. Julie also ensures everybody is catered for, providing alternatives for allergy sufferers.
A local user of the cafe said “The Café is run as much as a social service as commercial activity.
There are regular raffles, with the proceeds donated to various charities. Special events such as ‘Fish Fridays’, ‘Entertainment Specials’ and Christmas dinners are socials that Julie runs to provide lovely food for a very modest cost. They’re great enjoyed by all who attend.
“We’ve noticed that Julie has time for people, particularly lonely and vulnerable people whom she befriends and caters for their particular needs.
“This atmosphere brings local people to The Café on a regular basis for their lunch. Groups of friends are made welcome, too!”