Bright, beautiful blooms will soon festoon Home Community Cafe in Didsbury, marking the transition to summer and its new phase under the steerage of Tom Swingler, Café Manager and Home’s Trustees.
Tom has been managing the Café since Christmas and the team has been busily building links with the local community.
The first event that will mark this new beginning is a private view of artwork created by local schools. Children from Beaver Road School and West Didsbury CE Primary School have been busy making bright, beautiful blooms to festoon the Café as part of its summer décor refresh. And a year 4 class from Beaver Road have also created a giant, Pompei inspired fresco for the Cafe’s community room.
The children and their families have been invited to a specially organised private view at Home Cafe where they will see their artwork in-situ and be treated to a fairy cake and thank you event in recognition of their creative efforts.
The next event coming up at the end of May and repeated in early June are two garden days. The days build upon the Cafe’s blooming marvellous theme and volunteers are being sought to help make over its outside space on the 27th May (2-4pm) and the 10th June (10-12pm), where people will be asked to dig, clear, lift, load, build, paint, plant and shift all sorts of garden matter – ready for the long-awaited summer and the last event in Home’s upcoming calendar.
On 2 July, Home will host one of its popular weekend celebrations. This time the theme is Wellness – mind, body and soul and the newly planted gardens will provide a backdrop to all sorts of stalls and activities.
Tom Swingler, Home’s Cafe Manager says: “Home is a registered charity, that is run mainly by volunteers, so local link-ups like this really help us to bring the space to life and encourage new people to try out our cafe. We get customers and volunteers from all walks of life and every age. Our youngest known visitor was just a few days old and our oldest customers are well into their nineties. We run a programme of Home events, but we also provide free space for community groups to meet in our Living Room. We really are a cafe for the whole community and I have lots of plans for future community collaborations.”
Helping to bring aspects of these plans together, Home has been working with local artist Ned Ankers. Ned, who spent over 20 years as a secondary art teacher, has recently set up a local business called Ned’s Art Room that will offer art workshops for adults and young people in Didsbury. For this project Ned, worked with a Year 4 class at Beaver Road to develop the Pompeii style fresco. The students have each taken a photograph that is precious to them over a holiday and enlarged it onto card, focussing on shape and line. Looking at the Roman frescoes and mosaics found in Pompeii, they have used collage techniques to embellish into these shapes and have painted into some areas to give the effect of plaster. The students have been so keen to complete their work that they have continued working on it at home with their families.
Ned says: “When Home Café approached me to ask for help in redecorating their space, I felt it was a great opportunity to start a process of shared creativity with the local community and the local schools. The cafe has also allowed me to use their exhibition space on a quarterly rota, to showcase the artwork done in schools and in my own private workshops.”