Fancy a coffee?
A few weeks ago we were out and about chatting to people about the local community, talking about where they went in their High Streets now and what they would like to see in the future. It wasn’t surprising to hear tales about the high street being full of charity shops and coffee shops these days!
Local High Streets appear to be changing but does that mean they still can’t be at the heart of the community and why do we have so many coffee shops?
Looking a little further I found out that these coffee shops are playing an important role.
Sometimes we see a coffee shop open and wonder just how many we need. Surely two within a hundred yards of each other is just too many? But what about if you take another closer look and realise that those two coffee shops are more than just a pitstop for a quick cuppa. They quietly provide food for the homeless or those who are skint and hungry. They are providing opportunities to participate in the local community and maybe even learn a life skill like washing dishes and basic cookery. As well as providing a place for a coffee and a chat, they support people who are perhaps struggling without it feeling like a begging bowl.
These coffee shops are influencing change in their communities. They provide a comfortable and welcoming space for support groups, peer groups and groups of like-minded people to get together. Of course, this is nothing new, as far back as the 18th century coffee houses were being used as places for people to gather, talk and debate with the resulting ideas spreading all over the world. If a humble cup of coffee could act as the catalyst for some of the most influential ideas that still shape our world today, then perhaps they will play a part in ending loneliness for tomorrow’s older people.
What do you think? Let’s have a coffee and chat about it…