A NEW family cafe has opened in Blackpool town centre thanks to a £6,000 lottery grant – and aims to help inject some caring back into the community.
The Blackpool and Fylde Church has opened new premises on Alfred Street and family sessions are being held every Monday morning.
The group moved to the site above Tiffman’s furniture shop in December – and wasted no time bringing the dilapidated premises up to scratch.
And now with £6,000 safely in the bank for new toys, cafe facilities and furniture – they are ready to welcome the community in.
Church spokesman Andrea Selley told The Gazette: “It can be incredibly lonely if you are the parent or guardian of a baby or toddler.
“When my twin boys were babies, having a group I could go to for some conversation and support was a Godsend.
“Blackpool has a huge transient population with people arriving and leaving all the time.
“And I’m sure many have no family in the local area.
“We are keen to act as a surrogate family for them giving them somewhere to come for a coffee and friendship and where their children can play in safety.”
Cash to help refurbish the church has come from the National Lottery Awards For All scheme.
The sessions run on Mondays between 10.30am and 12.30pm and cost £1 per family.
Internet facilities are also available for families who use the centre and there will be structured activities for children as more visitors come in.
Mrs Selley added: “This is a really exciting time for the church and we are really looking forward to welcoming families in.
“We have so many ideas for family sessions like cheap and easy cooking, budgeting, ladies pamper time, and clothes swaps.
“It will be a really good opportunity for parents to come and have some time to browse the internet while their children play, there will be plenty of things to keep them occupied.
“We have a range of volunteers all keen to help create a welcoming family event to benefit our local community. All families and carers are welcome to come in for a coffee.”