The energy surrounding this project is so inspiring. I alluded to it yesterday; that actually, when you give someone the chance to shine, they seize it with both hands. What has astounded me today is the unwavering commitment to the more mundane jobs that need doing, as well as the self inflicted early start that some of us had this morning to get Day 2 off to the best start…

8am I was on site with a fabulous ‘jobbing builder’ ( I have been told off for calling him a handyman in the past, so I refrain from doing so, but actually not only is he handy, he is creative, sensible and reliable too – no words aptly describe my wonder at what he does!) to assess the sink situation and put it to rights. Although no sink has yet been fitted, or in fact obtained yet, we are making progress, and in the meantime making do with the running water from the toilet sink…

As soon as that was done, I made a quick stop to Roundhay Road where three volunteers were already hard at work moving out of our pop-up location. Boxes of crockery, decorations and equipment were being piled into their cars, and we were even rewarded with a wooden pallet that magically appeared on the pavement in front of us – a treasure of a find for us as we prepare for Upcycle Day tomorrow – but more of that later! We ceremoniously handed over the keys… Another chapter of TLC officially over.

handing back the keys to Roger from RETAS (who have been hosting us at their office on Roundhay Road since Sept 2015

Then I was off to pick up another volunteer, to make our way over to Castleford where there was the promise of half a kitchen for us, by a member of The Real Junk Food Project who is keen to set up a cafe in Castleford, but in the meantime has lots to donate to another cafe in the network – great team spirit!


So by 10am we had arrived and were loading the car with all sorts of goodies for the cafe; with some quite unique methods of removals!

easy does it through the porch window!

And then our local junk material angel mentioned a local cafe that sounded far too good for us to return to Leeds without a visit, so we made a quick detour, and stopped for a quick coffee at one of the most fabulous little independent cafes I have ever seen in my life. Bake My Day. Check it out; beautiful interior, coffee, food, service and charm. All on the same vibe as we are hoping to achieve in our cabin… take a look and be jealous of the gem we just found!

We couldn’t stick around for long though, unfortunately, as we had jobs to do! So back to Harehills we went, with our car full of booty, and when we arrived, would you believe it; the smell of fresh coffee enticing us in! Our three volunteers who had unloaded the boxes from our previous location had already unpacked and got the coffee on. Perfect…. Then teamwork unloaded the car, and we even managed to get another load in from storage, and out again, before lunchtime. What a team….

Other commitments prevented us from doing more on site this afternoon, but when I got home later on, another amazing volunteer had been beavering away around Leeds sourcing more resources for tomorrow; paint, brushes, cork boards and more… rest assured we are well on our way to being ready to open on TUESDAY JUNE 7th.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) is UPCYCLE day – we have some gear, some paint, and some volunteers. We are going to be converting pallets and other bits into beautiful cafe interiors. You’re very welcome to come along and be part of it.

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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