This coming Sunday, the annual Flag Day celebration takes place at Cafe Indiependent in the town centre.
If you didn’t already know, the Cafe is more than ‘just’ a cafe. It’s an independently run youth project, helping those in need amongst our younger community. It concentrates on employability – providing young volunteers with workplace skills and responsibilities, with the aim of readying them for the workplace.
More than that, it is a hub of the community, with two Youth Workers employed and on hand to guide the young volunteers through the difficulties they may encounter in their lives. The project is part-funded by the National Lottery and part-funded by public donations.
Recently Cafe Indiependent became a co-operative. That means for a small membership fee you are directly contributing to the sustainability of the business and also can have a stake in the project. As a member you’ll receive benefits (such as reduced prices on drinks, reduced prices on gig tickets etc). In addition, you’ll be able to take part in some of the discussion around key decisions and direction of the business. One Member, one vote.
There will be a Co-Op Membership stall at Flag Day.
Membership Manager Steve Askew says: “We’d really like people attending Flag Day to sign up and join us. I’m reluctant to say that it’s a case of ‘use us or lose us’ – but that’s one way of looking at it. It’s a daily battle to stay afloat. The business is just about self-sustaining, but every penny counts and there are very tough times ahead in the next few months.
“The Co-Op Membership Scheme has been a small way to contribute to a forthcoming financial shortfall due to the way the Lottery funding has been ‘staggered’ over the years. If you’ve enjoyed coming to Flag Day, or any of the other events we host here, and you haven’t yet joined the Co-Op Membership Scheme, then now is very much the time to ‘pin your colours to the mast’ and sign up.
“Equally as important than the financial side, the scheme is also about bringing us as a Staff Team, an organisation, and the community closer together. It’s about the Cafe not just serving the community but actually belonging to it. In these strange days for our country, we believe there might just be a better way of doing things. Like a football team, it’s better if we’re together”.
Membership for 2017 currently costs £25 but Mr Askew says that anyone who signs up at Flag Day can do so for a special concessionary price of £20.