Although the opening of the Teddington Community Café on 11 May had to be postponed, time has not been wasted. Adversity has led the members of the Teddington Parish Healthy Healing Hub to new initiatives, and to diverting some of their attention to other community activities, including Care-home outreach, whilst continuing to work towards opening the café in the autumn.

The idea of a community café was conceived some time ago by church members seeking a practical way to promote the mental health and physical well-being of local residents. Developed in partnership with NHS Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and two of our neighbouring charities, RUILS and Richmond Aid, the café will offer a welcoming space with a friendly, calm and positive atmosphere, helping to combat social isolation and to encourage self-care and foster well-being.

In undertaking background research, the team became aware of the large number of local organisations who offer interesting activities and valuable services. The café will be an ideal place to signpost these and will also offer a venue for the recently appointed link workers (aka social prescribers) to meet clients and to provide healthcare advice (from 6 July there will be six link workers for Teddington and Hampton PCNs).

In addition to welcoming visitors, the café will provide volunteering opportunities for local people. We are fortunate in having a central location for the café: St Peter and St Paul’s Church, at the corner of Church Road and Broad Street. When circumstances permit it will open weekly on Mondays, from 1.30pm to 4.30pm. Watch this space for more information.