Community Cafe Project

Report by Ian Skidmore


The Welwyn Community Café started 10 years ago. It is a joint venture between The Parochial Church Council and the Welwyn Parish Plan Action Group. Staffed entirely by volunteers and serving Fairtrade Coffee 50 weeks a year.

When we started in 2009 we charged 50p for mug of coffee or tea and a biscuit. The price with a teacake was £1.

The price has remained the same ever since, and there is no intention of increasing it.

We make a surplus each year. The surplus has grown slightly over the years even though the cost of coffee, biscuits and teacakes has increased. This is because, as the message gets around, more people come here on Tuesday  and also because increasingly people come back for second helpings!

The surplus in 2018 was a little over £1200, this is divided between the PCC who provide the facility and the Parish Plan. The Parish Plan share goes towards the projects we run.

Last year we gave grants to the Sports and Social Club and to Digswell Village Hall to help cover the cost of installing defibrillators, like the one on Barclay’s Bank. These grants were in total slightly more than our share of the surplus that year.

This year part of our surplus will go towards the 6th Edition of the Directory Everything Within for Residents of Welwyn Parish. When it is published hard  copies will be available here at the Café, at the Library, the Surgery and the Danesbury/QVM shop free of charge. It will also be on line on various local community websites. We are currently looking at how we might use the rest of our surplus this year. We will need to replace our banner that after 9 years is showing more than a little wear and tear! And we may need another toaster but these are incidental expenses.

While we do make and use this surplus that is not the function of the Café. The whole idea was, and remains, providing somewhere for residents of the Parish to meet each other and talk. We think we have achieved this, thanks not just to our organisers and our volunteers but more importantly to you, the Community.