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New community café opening in Castle Vale

New cafe located by Upcycle Birmingham to offer dedicated space to residents.

Spitfire Advice and Support Services will shortly be opening a new cafe called The Meeting Place for local residents. It will sit next to its thriving social enterprise, Upcycle Birmingham – a furniture recycling business. The cafe is set to open in August, once the refurbishment is completed.

Upcycle Birmingham is a furniture recycling social enterprise that helps people transform their homes with low cost, high quality goods. It collects unwanted furniture and household items free of charge and refurbishes them so that they can be resold at an affordable price.

Originally operating from a business park on the outskirts of Castle Vale, Upcycle Birmingham moved into the St Gerard’s Church Centre last year so that more local residents were better able to access it. Its new premises include a bespoke showroom and workshop area for the recycled furniture items, electrical goods and lots of household ”bric and brac”..

The Meeting Place café will be located adjacent to the church. The new cafe will have a designated space for use by local groups, such as knitting circles and local craft groups in the afternoon and will be open to the community in the mornings. In keeping with the ethos of Upcycle Birmingham, the cafe will be fitted out with upcycled furniture and will serve affordable drinks and snacks, including homemade cakes. Any surplus profits from the cafe will be fed back into Spitfire Advice and Support Services.

Judy Tullett, Community Services Coordinator for Spitfire Advice & Support Services commented,

We are excited to have an opportunity to provide this amenity to the community of Castle Vale. The cafe will allow shoppers at Upcycle Birmingham to have a special space in which to relax after browsing at our furniture range next-door.

Judy continued,

When we were approached by the Church to breathe life into a disused space that was falling into disrepair, we thought, why not?  Our ethos is about upcycling, after all. The cafe sits next to our existing business, we are experienced in running a social enterprise and have volunteers ready.

The Meeting Place was made possible through funding from Awards for All, the National Lottery. Further funding was provided by the Erdington Neighbourhood Network Scheme for the set-up of the cafe, rent and the recruitment of an on-site manager.

The cafe runs in tandem with Upcycle Birmingham and will be staffed by volunteers, some working across both the cafe and the furniture shop. The Meeting Place will open 9am – 1pm Mondays to Fridays. Upcycle Birmingham opens from 9am – 4pm on Mondays to Fridays.