CUSTOMERS at Oh Crumbs! community café in Bridport can now enjoy a tranquil garden planted with trees, flowers and shrubs. The south-facing area provides a safe, sunny spot for eating and drinking.
The thriving West Allington café, run by people with disabilities, has reached its 25th year. Work on the garden and plans for a big feast on Saturday 23 September are all part of the anniversary celebrations.
‘The outside was bare concrete before, a washing line and a shed with overgrown bushes,’ said Andrew Smith, who worked hard on the garden project and is now head gardener.
The project was devised by The Arts Development Company, Dorset’s home-grown arts service, which uses the arts to transform environments.
Under the guidance of Cleo Evans from The Arts Development Company, staff discussed their ideas for the garden with local landscape architect Aileen Shackell, who drew up plans. All the plants and materials were bought locally at a discounted price from Groves Garden Centre and Fat Leaf. Magna Housing Association and West Dorset District Council also contributed, with the bulk of the funding coming from the Big Lottery Fund’s Celebrate programme.
‘Oh Crumbs! is a great community asset,’ said Cleo.
‘It serves freshly cooked, delicious food with friendly service. You always feel welcomed and there’s a great atmosphere,’ she added. Altogether, 17 people work at the café with ages ranging from 21 to nearly 60.
Manager Sue Rousell said: ‘We give people an opportunity to do a real job that they might not get to do otherwise. They gain self-confidence and esteem from that.’
The community also gains a valuable meeting place. ‘We’ve got customers of all ages who come in and have their meal of the day here. They come in to eat and to meet up. Some of them are elderly, but we also get young families,’ Sue explained.
Oh Crumbs! is usually open 8.30am to 3pm Mondays to Fridays. It will open on a rare Saturday for the big feast on 23 September, between 1 and 4pm, welcoming everyone to join the celebration.
13 West Allington
DT6 5BJ Bridport