A pop-up cafe which is helping people through rough times in their lives is set to stay open for another 12 months thanks to a grant from the police.
The Camerados Living Room, which opened in June in Blackpool’s Central Library on Queen Street, has received funding of £57,800 from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.
It has already helped dozens of people by offering them a place to get a good meal and chance meet up with other people to chat about the challenges they are facing in life.
The extension means three staff have been hired as trainees for the year, giving them training in the food industry and a stable job.
They also recently travelled to London to get tips from top chef Simon Boyle as well as coming up with a new menu to serve to customers in the cafe.
Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Projects like this are helping to change people’s lives for the better and I am delighted funding from my office means the cafe can continue for another year.
“Here in Lancashire our early action approach works to reduce demand on public services, including the police, by finding ways to support vulnerable people before they get into crisis.
“This money means the cafe can continue its work to improve the lives of people suffering from isolation and strengthen the community, at the same time as supporting local jobs.”
Coun Amy Cross, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for reducing health inequalities, said: “The Camerados movement is doing great things at Central Library and is creating a real community spirit amongst the people involved.
“It is giving people a purpose to get out and come to meet friends and colleagues as well as learning new skills in the café.
“It’s been fantastic to watch the way Camerados has reduced social isolation and helped people meet liked minded individuals to share what’s going on in their life.
“It’s not about making money but about making friends, and absolutely anybody is welcome to come along and have a chat with the team.”
The council has worked with the Fulfilling Lives project to launch Camerados.
Camerados is a project that runs throughout the country and is a movement of people looking to provide a solution to tough times by helping people to find more friends and have a more defined purpose in life.
The Camerados Living Room cafe in Blackpool is open to everybody.
It also includes a generosity box so that if they wish, customers can buy extra drinks tokens that can be used to help people who need a hot drink but do not have the money to pay themselves.
The cafe currently opens between 10am and 2pm every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday with later opening times to be announced shortly.