In 2015, Halas Homes took over the running of a local café called Coffee Cups in Halesowen. The cafe was a social enterprise where people with learning disabilities could learn and develop skills in a real, commercial working environment. Coffee Cups quickly became a very important part of the local community and was considered to be a ‘community cafe’.
Coffee Cups was a much loved place to visit by local residents (including one of our clients, Mr X). Mr X is in his 80s and was referred to Integrated Plus by his GP due to long term health conditions and loneliness. When the Link Officer (Sue Bloomer) visited Mr X she realised that he could no longer easily manage to walk to Coffee Cups unaided, and asked the Link Support Worker (Becky Woodall) to take Mr X to a local mobility centre to help him look at mobility scooters. After looking at what was on offer Mr X decided to buy a mobility scooter there and then! He used it to visit Coffee Cups regularly and got to know all the staff and customers there. It has also enabled him to be more independent and visit other local shops.
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus outbreak early in 2020, Coffee Cups was forced to shut its doors, leaving Mr X with little social contact with others, less chance to get out and about, and reliance on his own cooking.
However, Halas Homes has now received some funding to use to benefit local people and has used this to set up ‘Tea-Time Treats’. The staff deliver free tea, coffee, soup and sandwiches to those identified as elderly and isolated. Integrated Plus has worked with the Project Coordinator to identify people who would benefit from the new project, and Mr X is delighted to receive support from this new initiative.
Quote from Jo Bennett about how the project is going:
We have had a positive response and fabulous feedback from the residents we are supporting so far. It is great to see the project continuing to grow week by week.
Meeting the residents and having the opportunity to have a chat with them when we deliver their refreshments is a fabulous way to keep all our spirits up. The warm welcomes we get are heart-warming, especially during these difficult times.