Hub to offer a warm welcome at cafe venture

A recovery cafe is set to be launched by a military charity in Ashton - to offer an alcohol-free environment to socialise.

Friday, 20th April 2018, 3:23 pm
Updated Friday, 20th April 2018, 3:26 pm
John and Pauline Wardropper, Robert Lamberth and Samantha Thompson are busy preparing the building and painting furniture which has been donated, for Sams Armed Forces Hub

Supporters of Sam’s Armed Forces Hub are backing a new dry bar on Heath Road, which will open to punters on April 27.

Work is currently ongoing by volunteers to add the finishing touches to the premises, which will be open to military and non-military users, before the official opening.

And a £50,000 crowdfunding appeal has been launched by the charitable organisation to ensure it is a success.

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Hub spokesman Samantha Thompson said: “Our vision is to provide a safe and supportive community for everyone to come along for a chat, a meal and some fun.

“By hosting themed evenings, movie nights, open mic nights and other activities we aim to create a fun environment, unique to anything within the area.”

Before now the organisation has mainly concentrated its efforts in the St Helens area but Samantha says they have been increasingly approached by people from communities in Wigan borough.

She added: “The building we have secured needs a little TLC therefore we are hoping to receive help with creating a friendly look inside the café.

“As well as financial support we are hoping to gain some donations of furniture, and anything else that could help alongside donations of time to make this a real community project.”

While cash donations are welcome, anyone who can provide materials, including MDF or paints, is being asked to come forward. Outside a kitchen garden is proposed so the group is also on the lookout for the likes of planters, topsoil, plants and seeds.

Samantha added: “It’s a simple idea, to provide somewhere people can go without alcohol and we’re hoping it will take off.”

She has paid tribute to the support their concept has so far received from Wigan Council, where officials are said to have assisted with pinpointing a potential base which was within their budget.

The crowdfunding appeal for the recovery cafe can be reached online here