Chapter Three

It has been a while since we last blogged, and you might think that things have gone a little quiet at TLC HQ, which couldn’t be further from the truth!

The truth is that, whilst there have continued to be stories from our pop up each week, it felt more and more that the very fact that I was looking for a story to publish here felt as if it was distancing me from the moment of actually being present in the moment with that person. So I chose the latter, which meant that this blog got a little neglected…

But today I am compelled to write, because it is the beginning of the next chapter of ToastLoveCoffee:

Today is the day that we began work on our new, permanent cafe. How very crazy and very exciting. A vague schedule of works had been drafted late last week, there was a sense that people would be coming along to help, and there was a nervous chruning in my stomach that maybe this time, I had set the bar too high; that it just wasn’t possible to magically create a cafe out of an empty cabin, on a shoestring budget, with no professionals in charge or lined up to make it happen…

I turned up at 9am this morning, with two sweeping brushes and three mugs of coffee, waiting expectantly for some people to show up. The unit was empty and dusty. Gosh it felt like I had a mountain to climb until Tuesday 7 June when we said we would be reopening. As I started to sweep, consigned to the fact that maybe I’d just have my pocket radio for company, I reflected that it was good for me to start this next chapter by myself, to enjoy the quiet, and at least I had plenty of coffee to keep me going…

Two guys involved in the adjoining community centre project popped in and I was able to get this photo:

I managed to sweep a few piles of dust together, and was relieved that by 10am, two volunteers had arrived. They set to work brushing the floor while I went out to source more cleaning equipment.

By the time I was back, the numbers of volunteers had doubled, and when I went off with one of them to start moving some of our gear out of storage and into the cabin, the volunteers doubled again. It was amazing camaraderie and teamwork that got the floor cleaned, and two car loads of stuff in and out again by 12noon.

We had achieved more than I thought possible for this first day of hard graft to get TLC open again, and we took ourselves off to fellow Junk Food Project cafe Moortown Junk-Tion for a well earned lunchbreak.

More and more I realise that I can’t do it all myself. And more and more, I realise that that’s actually the whole point of TLC; to give people the opportunity to shine, and boy do they do just that when given half a chance.

published by Anna Dyson
Founder and Director of ToastLoveCoffee. CEO of Dyson family, Roundhay (Leeds) branch which involves a huge array of skills impossible to imagine or articulate! Formerly, Jewish educator and community professional.


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