Members of Crafty Fox Cafe and Hub

Crafty Fox Café and Hub in Foxhole in Paignton, Devon provides a safe space for residents to build connections in their community.

The project developed from a previous community hub project, which was also funded by the Trust, and was opened in 2016 by local MP Sarah Wollaston. At the café, coffee, tea and home-made cake are available at affordable prices and served by local volunteers.

Nina Cooper, Community Builder for the hub, explained: “It’s very much a community led project as we put into place what members of the community want from a café. We’re run by volunteers and everything is decided as a group. It’s the best way and works well.”

She added: “We’ve built up trust. A lot of people walk past a few times before they come in. They feel safe here because they know no-one will judge them.”

The project has built a strong relationship with their local GP practice who advertise the hub in the surgery and refer patients to the Hub who they think could benefit.

The Café and Hub is running a huge range of activities including craft, knitting and mosaic sessions, cake baking, a job club and outreach for young people.

Nina said: “We’ve grown and now we have Citizens Advice coming in every Wednesday, we’ve got a counsellor who comes in on Fridays.

Volunteer, Mel Atkins, is now running her own business from her friend’s shop. She said: “The Crafty Fox helped me so much, I got my confidence back. I haven’t looked back really. My self-esteem is much better, now I’ll go out and talk to people.”

Karen Parker, said: “Local residents have met at the café and have now formed friendships and have started to socialise outside the café. It’s had a really positive impact on reducing social isolation in the local community.”

Find out more about the project and café from members in this video.

The project has been funded by the Trust with money raised through The Health Lottery in the South West.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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