Community Café


It may interest Hartlebury folk attending the Community Café on Tuesday mornings we are approaching our fourth anniversary.

The Community café was started in August 2016 with a grant of £250 from 'Friends of Hartlebury' and met in the bar area of the parish hall. For the first year, as it was establishing itself, all the proceeds went to the Parish Hall funds—a charity in its own right. This amounted to £1,105. It gained in popularity and numbers grew so it expanded into the main building in 2017 and profits were donated to British Red Cross. All the help was voluntary, and all made by a number Good Women of the parish.

We started to pay a proper rent to the Parish Hall in 2017 and then, due to a suggestion from a customer, began to donate to a variety of charities, including:

  • Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
  • Hearts of England–supports donations of defibrillators to village halls
  • Jan Jan Bureh Nursery (school in The Gambia supported by Hartlebury ex-teacher)
  • Kidderminster Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Stourport Pony Riding for the Disabled
  • Nightstop supporting young homeless (Kidderminster branch)
  • Red Cross Yemen Appeal and UNHCR (refugee charity)
  • Christian Aid
  • Kidderminster Prostrate Cancer Support Group
  • Médecins Sans Frontières

Since the inception of the café (taking off rent and sundry costs) we have raised >£4,500 for these charities.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support. Anyone wishing to offer help with cake making or 'behind the hatch' please do ask. It's fun!

Cath Holden - July 2019

Cath Holden

Café News update—October 2020

Just before lockdown in February we were able to donate £200 to St Richards hospice.
We were then closed from March–September when we re-opened, changing seating arrangements and making adaptations in accordance with Government guidelines. 

Only a few volunteers felt happy to return to the cafe.
Luckily a new volunteer came forward, Ruth Walmsley, and she was able to offer two mornings a month.
A new 'washer upper' also volunteered in the form of Jane Edwards who also makes superb cakes.
We are looking into yet another helper, John Maughan who may agree to be our waiter (watch this space…).

Jan Hipkins has taken on the very valuable role of taking contact details at the door and informing folk of the new rules.
Chris Greatbatch has also returned with kitchen help and lovely cakes.

The craft ladies have returned in a group of 6 and take up the space in the bar area. This is now much lighter due to the new patio door.

Despite restricted numbers of café visitors, we were able to donate £200 to the Parish Hall this month (September). We chose this as the hall is a charity and has been losing revenue through Covid-19. We will try hard to keep our heads above water during this tricky time.

Charities update December 2019

  • September–£250 Kidderminster Citizens Advice Bureau
  • October–£250 Médecins Sans Frontières
  • November–£250 Kidderminster Prostrate Cancer Support Group
  • December–£130 (made up to £240 with Hartlebury Book Group) Toilet Twinning–new toilet block in Malawi
Charities update January 2020
  • January–£200 Nightstop supporting young homeless (Kidderminster branch)
  • February–£200 St Richards hospice
  • Lockdown!
  • September–£200 Parish Hall

List of Café Helpers - in alphabetical order (as of July 2019)

'Behind the Hatch'
Cath Holden
Chris Greatbatch
Elaine Phillips
Jane Edwards
Jill Lyman
Marion Neal
Paras Baldock
Ruth Walmsley

Cake Makers
Cath Holden
Chris Greatbatch
Claire Thorley
Hilary Dixon
Jane Edwards
Mandy Smith
Marion Neal
Neil Gulliver
Sheila Allen
Val Hardwick

customers 1
customers 2