The Rural Coffee Caravan delivers information and friendship across Suffolk. The caravan gets out and about to provide a friendly drop in space for over 5000 people a year to reconnect over a coffee and a piece of cake. In addition, the organisation has set up Meetup Mondays, bringing people together at 35 regular free coffee mornings in cafes and pubs across Suffolk.
People using the caravan can have a wide range of needs but the predominant one is the need to be with other people and just connect with conversation. The portable meeting space enables people to find out what is going on in their community, what services they can access and to develop what they think their community needs.
Ann Osbourn, Director of Rural Coffee Caravan says:
‘Through visiting the caravan, people have gained access to benefits, services and information they need. They have set up community groups and made new friends. They have left their house and spoken with someone and felt valued and appreciated. They have been able to give back to others by volunteering their time and developing a sense of belonging through their volunteering and/or reconnecting with neighbours.’
A resident says:
‘The Rural Coffee Caravan was a godsend to our small Suffolk community with no village hall or other amenities. We meet up and are able to gauge whether other members of our village are in need of help or advice or just a listening ear. Those we do not see around often because of age or mobility problems are encouraged to come with help from more agile members! In all honesty I feel that the presence of the Coffee Caravan and its amazing and dedicated volunteers has been a lifesaver to us personally and an addition to the village that has given us all hope for the future of our rural community.’