A social enterprise cafe has opened in Woolwich, that aims to address mental health issues in the borough.
Stir Cafe, in Anglesea Road, aims to combine wellbeing with good food. The cafe is an offshoot of the Bridge Support charity which also runs the Recovery College on the same site. The college provides training courses to those who have suffered from mental health problems.
The cafe will give work experience opportunities to Recovery College alumni.
CEO of Bridge Support Raymond Sheehy said: “Our ethos at Bridge is to empower people recovering from mental ill-health to have more choice, to become the best of themselves and live well.
“Stir Café embodies our whole ethos and brings wellbeing to the community. Training volunteers up to work in the café is a step along our strong pathways within the organisation to help people from ill-health towards recovery and then into employment and training.”
Bridge Support won the Digital Leadership Award in the Best of Royal Greenwich Business Awards.
At the awards Mr Sheehy told the Mercury how he was also proud of the work the company was doing with ex-offenders.
He said: “One of our measures of success is if they do not need us anymore.
“We try to help people to help themselves. It’s not about delivering care per se. Essentially, if they need less from us, if they go on to employment and training, then that is a victory.
“When working with ex-offenders we have one of the lowest re-offending rates at around four per cent.”
One in four people will experience mental health problems in their lifetime according to Bridge Support figures.
The college welcomes anyone who lives in Greenwich and who has experience of mental health.
All profits from the cafe go towards the Recovery College.