Rain fails to dampen spirits at final café of the season

The weather report for September’s café was gloomy, although I am sure we were all hoping that it would be proved wrong and the sun would come out afterall. Sadly, Barbara was unable to work her weather magic this time and we were faced with a day of unremitting rain. Nobody let this dampen their spirits, however, and the tables were moved inside to squeeze in the merry crowd that turned up in spite of the weather.

The Reading Room was buzzing for the whole afternoon, with customers still chatting away beyond the stated closing time, and sales of books, cakes and produce were brisk. As a result we were able to donate an astounding £300 to charity, including another generous donation to pay for the Reading Room rent.

The charity chosen to benefit from our final summer café was St John Ambulance – those guys you see at every major event giving their own time to make sure that anyone injuring themselves is taken care of without fuss.

St John Ambulance also work all year providing first aid training to over 250,000 people, over half of them under 18, running 20,000 courses at 240 venues across the country. This training helps to save lives on a daily basis.

What you may not know is that the charity also supports the NHS with the transport of bariatric patients into hospital and with taking critically ill children to intensive care in their fleet of 1,000 vehicles.

Our contribution will help to support its vast training programme, both for the community and its many volunteers who provide help at public events. This is incredibly important work; St John Ambulance volunteers provide a reassuring presence at so many events, and in day to day life knowing the right thing to do in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.

If you or anyone you know would like to do some first aid training with St John Ambulance, look at their website sja.org.uk or call 08700 104950.

Our next café will be our special one-off lunch time Christmas Café on Saturday 9th December when you can grab yourself a warming bowl of home-made soup and snap up a few Christmas bargains. It promises to be just as welcoming and enjoyable as always, so save the date in your diaries.

Clare Ereira