Here is the latest news from the Community Cafe Basingstoke.
Oasis Cafe Basingstoke
Despite reduced footfall at the top of town, the Oasis Cafe Basingstoke continues to maintain reasonable levels of trade, largely due to continuing growth in the number of group bookings. However, you are probably aware that the Post Office has decided to close its top of town premises and transfer its business to W H Smiths in The Malls. We can’t be sure what further impact this will have on cafe business, but there is concern that many of our customers will no longer have an incentive to come up to this part of town. We ask you to give thanks for God’s provision to date and to pray for God’s guidance in responding to these changing circumstances.
Please pray this month for our wonderful Oasis Cafe Basingstoke volunteer teams and employed cooks, in particular following a recent re-structuring of the teams and rotas. One ministry of the cafe is to provide volunteer opportunities and support for those who may not be able to otherwise work or who have special needs. To some being on team gives them stability, a safe place, and they may struggle with change. Pray particularly for those who find change difficult that they will quickly settle into the new structure and feel cared for.
Following failure at the beginning of the school year to secure places on a part time catering course for two of our cooks (BCOT cancelled the course due to lack of take up and there was no other appropriate provider), we are planning a fresh approach to BCOT for the school year starting this coming September. This training is important to progress the individuals’ development and fulfilment, and is also important to future development of cafe provision. Please pray that God will open doors for provision of this training.
Delivery of free food, collected from various supermarkets, has now increased to providing twelve needy families/individuals each week. M&S have stopped trying to reduce price their near ‘sell buy date’ items before giving them to us, which means we get more and with longer time to ‘use by’ dates. There is now a small team in place to collect from the supermarkets and deliver to the various households but this needs to grow. Give thanks for the provision from the supermarkets and please pray for additional helpers to deliver the food boxes; if you know of anyone who you think might be willing to give an hour or two a week please e-mail Penny Dilleyat[email protected]
The cafe continues to be used by on average 20 – 30 young people each day, mostly 11 – 13 year olds at present. Continue to pray for energy and motivation of the volunteer team, and for one or two additional volunteers.
The proposed mentoring scheme has moved more slowly than we had hoped as we are still looking to finish recruiting mentors. Our prayer is for the establishment of a team of five mentors by the end of the current school term.
Youth Cafe Plus (YC+)
YC+ was opened so that the large numbers of young people expressing an interest in Christianity to the Healing on the Streets (HOTS) outreach team had somewhere to go to follow up the information and prayer that they had been given on the street. To date the few young people that have come to YC+ have not had contact with the HOTS and are not necessarily interested in faith issues, and those that HOTS have interacted with have not come to YC+. Last week we were discussing whether we needed to review the YC+ and whether we were doing the right thing. And then, this week five young people have followed up their interaction with HOTS by coming along to the youth cafe to enquire about YC+. Is God trying to tell us something?! We know that once these young people make any kind of commitment or receive prayer on the street that there is an enemy who will try to discourage them from following that up. So please pray for all the young people who are each month expressing commitment or interest through the HOTS team, that they will follow this up in some way, and pray for the YC+ team that we will be sensitive to where God is leading us.
Chairman Community Cafe Management Committee