Fulham community cafe gives residents somewhere to meet and grow

A new cafe providing a meeting place, refreshments and activities for residents of sheltered housing in Fulham was officially opened last week.

The ribbon was cut at the Riverbank Cafe at Rowberry Close Sheltered Housing on Friday 30 September, where residents and guests gathered to celebrate the new community hub, which had been operating since the summer.

See all the picture from the day on our Flickr photo gallery

Run by social enterprise Soup4Lunch and funded by a fast-track grant from Hammersmith & Fulham Council the cafe not only provides food and drink for residents and local community members, but also a variety of activities.

“I am delighted to officially welcome the Riverbank Cafe to H&F where it has already become an invaluable part of the local community,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.

“Projects like this help galvanise local residents and the café offers a place for people to come together for a drink and a chat or take part in activities like gardening and the art classes held earlier this summer.”

The cafe provides for the tenants from Swanbank Court, Manor Court, Philpott Square, Stanford Court and Askham Court, who were all represented at Friday’s opening, along with other local guests.

Among the attendees was the 424 Club – a group of tenants from the various housing schemes so named because they are all on the 424 bus route. Earlier this year the 424 route was saved from being diverted away from this area following a combined campaign by residents and H&F Council.

Alongside the food and drink, celebrations on the day included three exciting raffles with prizes.

The project is run largely by tenant volunteers, many of who had been planning the grand opening since July.

The idea for the sheltered housing community café came from Soup4Lunch Ltd, a local social enterprise set up to tackle isolation and loneliness.

Not only does the cafe get people out of their flats and gives them an easy place to meet, but allows them to take ownership by running the venue and activities.

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