The past few weeks have given us an opportunity, like never before, to reflect on what we have been doing. A researcher (now friend) has been working on a social audit and has been sending us her reports, and we have presented at two different conferences about ‘The ToastLoveCoffee Story’.

And when we share our story, we realise just how far we have come. From a crazy idea, a first blog post two years ago, to being part of The Real Junk Food Project, to getting over 1000 signatures supporting our friend Anita claiming asylum, to providing food, toys, clothes, school places to a new family in Leeds, to successfully crowdfunding £10k, to being on the brink of a permanent home… and all the personal stories in between, the magic of the conversations between people who would otherwise not meet, which really is the most important part of it all.

After our sessions at the conferences, people have felt moved to share why they have enjoyed listening to us so much. And what has stood out most of all for them is our passion for what we are doing.

I really feel that I have found the gift that I can give the world, and the right people to help make it happen.

An old friend who came to our session was almost moved to tears when she told me how proud she was of me; that she knew my doubts and fears about leaving the comfort of my North London home and setting up in Leeds, about feeling quite lost, for quite a while, in search of a meaningful career. Would we ever have dreamed that I would be the Founder and Director of a community cafe that intercepts waste food?! But that is truly what I am, and proud and humbled to be.

So my plea to anyone reading this is:

Please, whatever it is that you have been secretly harbouring, thinking about, and haven’t had the guts to go on and give a try, please consider making this year the year that you see how far your crazy idea can go- and you never know, you may end up going on a truly immense journey.

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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