Feeling like the crocuses…

Image 7Poor crocuses. Every time they think it’s safe to pop their little heads up out of the ground, the weather decides to dump a load of snow on them. Maybe it’s nature’s way to make sure only the resilient ones survive…
After a few month’s since TLC’s closure on Hovingham Avenue, all the work that’s been going on under the surface, ready for its’ rebirth in the spring, we felt excited to announce our new plans.
But we’re not quite ready yet. I don’t want to jinx anything.
Inspired by the crocuses, who were determined to show themselves to the public in recent days, I’ve decided to tell all the story so far, with a feeling that, just like those crocuses whose beautiful colour is now filling our gaze, despite the snow, TLC will inspire and grow, despite not being quite there yet…
As those who have kept up with the story so far, we moved out of the premises on Hovingham Avenue in October last year. The reason for this was that CATCH  (the youth centre) and TLC had each grown too big to share the space, so we made the bold decision to vacate and find an independent, bigger space to grow into.
Since then, the core team have been working hard on this website, our new business plan, finding the perfect property, and fundraising.
We have found a great location, and we are in (standard) negotiations over the lease with the landlord. All things being equal, we hope to complete and sign within the next few weeks.
We are fortunate to have amazing support from professional property people in helping imagine and plan the property’s conversion into a cafe, and it’s really exciting that, over two floors and possibly a third, we can have a fully functioning cafe with all the values and ethos we previously had, and the extra space to invite other groups or organisations to utilise for their own projects and community building activities.
We are working away on the plans, and fundraising to make this happen efficiently. The initial costings for the refurbishment have been quoted as £60k (gasp!) although we are hoping the real cost will come in smaller than that (with goodwill, donations, cutting corners etc.)
We have already secured £10k from Awards for All towards the refurbishment project (thank you Awards for All!), and are waiting to hear back from other funding proposals we have submitted.
If you are reading this and are able to support us financially, please consider making a donation, or buying a travel mug  (or two!) from us, via this website.

If you own, or are involved in, or know of any  local businesses who would be interested in supporting us, perhaps you might share this blog; we will be putting together a corporate sponsorship package, on the lines of a regular donation towards our expenses, and opportunity for team away days to help out in the cafe, or paint walls etc. Please pass on my email anna@toastlovecoffee.co.uk to any interested parties!

And finally, your support, whether that’s a supportive comment on social media, share on Facebook or Twitter (and Instagram when I’ve finally got going on that platform too!), in the flesh or financially, really means the world to us. By knowing that you care, really boosts our morale and confidence. Because of this, we are desperately keen to reopen TLC as soon as we can, but, I guess, just like the crocuses and daffodils, maybe spring and the start of a new beginning is just a little bit later this year…

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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Comments

  1. posted by Anne White on Reply

    “The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come!” Springtime- hurray! Thanks for the photo and blog, Anna, and good luck with all the Toast, Love and Coffee – the world needs more of all of them 🙂

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