Interior of cafe with text asking about running a community cafe

Would you like to run a community café for one or more sessions?

Proposals invited!

We want to enable a cafe in the Community Centre Club Room on a short term basis. We are looking for:

  • opening hours of perhaps 10 to 12.30 up to four mornings a week, and/or two afternoon slots between 3 and 5pm (see below for more details)
  • only for a limited time, not beyond 31st March 2022 – to enable a worked-up business plan and strategy for the long-term future use of the Club Room after next March.
  • excluding school holidays, this will enable any holiday activities for the youth club to take place and also enable term-time commitment to running the café from parents of school age children
  • If the coffee machine is to be used, training is required; financial assistance with training will be available if required (but see also further details below)
  • A willingness to work with LACA to benefit our users and the community.


  • to provide a welcoming meeting place for social wellbeing as we come out of the pandemic
  • to support a wide range of residents, e.g. preschool and after-school families, after-class socialising, bridge groups, knit and natter groups, residents working from home, those who are retired,  those with caring responsibilities and those who just want to sit and chat.
  • to provide good quality, simple beverages and cold refreshments representing value for money

What this is NOT:

  • this is not a library or computer facility; that will have to come after the full review, if wanted
  • this is not a long-term proposal for the club room but only a temporary solution to fill the gap at present


In view of the specific social needs at the present time of Bounceback, this is a special offer for a limited time to the end of March 2022. The charge payable to LACA will be based on the current non-commercial rate of £11 per hour. The long term future use of the club room will need a business plan and strategy to be carefully considered over the coming months, taking into account the need for a community library with access to computers and to facilitate the important use by the youth club. To facilitate these reviews, you will be asked to share your trading figures with LACA in confidence, after the initial settling in period. The charge will include at least one additional hour for setting up before and clearing/cleaning after each session eg an afternoon session from 3 to 5pm will be charged for 3 hours.

You will be responsible for:

  • paying your staff costs, if any
  • recruiting, supervising and planning, including all volunteers involved
  • running costs including supplies and ingredients etc.
  • meeting food and catering regulations
  • marketing in co-operation with LACA
  • the tables and chairs to be cleared away and the space tidied and cleaned to Covid standards at the end of each session (unless requested otherwise by the Centre Manager)
  • T&Cs as per LACA requirements eg maintaining the kitchen fittings with care

Please include in your application, brief details of:

  1. How many and which sessions you would prefer and whether weekly or monthly
  2. Your plan for organising the café, staffing and volunteer requirement, likely pricing and refreshment range.
  3. Your likely commitment through to Christmas and beyond until end March 2022
  4. Your experience in operating relevant projects, examples of any recent catering work undertaken or current business, or supervising volunteers.
  5. Your vision for working with LACA and other users of the Community Centre with respect and flexibility and to provide a warm welcome for the needs of the community.
  6. Coffee machine: this will need servicing and H&S check: please confirm in your application if you want to use this. The cost of service and how quickly it can be done will have to be investigated.

We understand that some details will need further discussion but we are keen to make progress with proposals as soon as practicable.

For more information, please contact:

Practical information about the facilities, Sally-Anne Tarsey

Otherwise about the application, Sheila Hardingham

Closing date for initial proposals: 8th October 2021 to

Other details

Details about the community centre: please see the LACA website

Decorating of the club room should be carried out soon

It is expected the set up costs will be minimal as the equipment is already there.

The large freezer and catering table will be removed in due course

The cooker in the kitchen is suitable only for warming up, not for commercial cooking.

Sessions available:

Tuesdays: morning and/or afternoon

Wednesdays: morning

Fridays: morning and/or afternoon

Saturdays: morning

Man and woman talking in a cafe