Fountain Cafe

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About the Cafe

The Fountain Community Cafe, is a new permanent home, provided by the Parish Council, for the Fountain Cafe, formerly located at Wyvern College. Its mission is to provide a welcoming and safe space for residents to gather and socialize while enjoying affordable home-cooked food. The Fountain Café is a not-for-profit organization, that aims to tackle loneliness, provide employment and volunteering opportunities, and act as a hub for community initiatives. 

Project Timeline

Fountain cafe by Michelle Leadbitter-Allen

Funding

The Fountain Community Cafe has been made possible through Section 106 Developers' Contributions allocated by the Fair Oak, Bishopstoke, and Horton Heath Local Area Committee (Eastleigh Borough Council) and the Parish Council's reserves.

We are actively applying for additional funding to support initiatives like solar panel retrofit installation, community food planters, and a community fridge/pantry.

 

Key Partners and Collaborators

In delivering this facility, the Parish Council was proud to collaborate with: 

Fountain Cafe CIC:

Our invaluable partner in realizing our shared vision. 

Trinity Rose Architectural Firm:

Providing pro-bono services in design and project management. 

Key collaborators supporting various aspects of the project.:

Vision D&B Building Firm, Catering Equipment Support, Bloors, Southampton Wood Reclamation Project, and Eastleigh Borough Council, Colin Phillips - Blacksmith.  

Achievements & Outcomes

The Fountain Community Cafe, located on the southeastern edge of New Century Park, results from dedicated efforts and collaboration. The cafe aims to: 

Provide a Space for Community Gathering:

A place where the community can connect and form supportive relationships

Future Community Initiatives:

As the cafe establishes itself, the Council in partnership with the Fountain Café hopes to deliver value-added community-focused initiatives, including workshops on sustainability, food skills, waste prevention, and more.

Community Engagement:

The council will use the venue to provide feedback forms and surveys to ensure the Council’s services meet residents' needs. We will also provide opportunities to sign up for volunteering opportunities at the Café and wider parish.

Soft Launch Events:

Community members will be invited to attend soft launch events during February/March 2024.

Affordable Homemade Food:

The cafe will offer affordable homemade food, employment, and volunteering opportunities, ensuring inclusivity for all community members.

Overcoming the Challenges & Lessons Learned

Challenges during the scoping stage were overcome through additional surveys, a driven piled foundation scheme, and incorporating changes to the building design for sustainability. Lessons learned emphasise the importance of thorough planning and understanding planning requirements. 

Sustainability

The Café building has/will provide the following sustainable elements: -  

Living Wall for Nature Recovery:

Approximately 23m2 of the cafe will be covered by a living wall, providing food and shelter for local pollinators, insects, and birds, supporting nature recovery. 

Grey Water Harvesting:

Four 375-litre water butts with planters will be installed on-site collecting water from the building. This will prevent water from overloading the local drainage system and also provide water to water the living wall, trees and planters on site. 

Reducing Food Waste:

A community fridge operated by cafe volunteers, supported by the Parish Council, aims to reduce food waste and provide free food from on-site community planters. 

Climate Cafes:

The Council aims to run regular climate cafes on-site, raising awareness of sustainability issues and providing tips for a greener lifestyle. 

Food Skills Workshops:

Workshops cover basic food preparation, utilising locally grown food, and focus on using leftovers to reduce food waste. 

Not forgetting..

Meeting Room Facility:

The Council and the Cafe plan to advertise the meeting room facility to local groups and organizations, inviting them for a special event to showcase the facilities and discuss future collaborations. 

Community Appreciation:

The Fountain and Parish express gratitude to local residents for their patience and support during site preparation and construction, inviting them to explore the cafe before the formal opening. 

Community Support Venue:

The cafe supports wider community provision by providing a venue for local PCSOs to hold regular beat surgeries. The Council plans various community engagement events in 2024 to thank local volunteers, network with charitable organizations, celebrate Earth Day, and more. A long-term program of events is under development, with aspirations to build a small outbuilding to house a men's shed group and bike/tool repair sessions. 

 

Our Aspirations

Internal Fit-Out and Training:

Finalise internal fit-out, staff training, and complete hard and soft landscaping. 

Sustainability Initiatives:

Retrofitting solar panels. 

Long-Term Aspirations:

Regular events, community initiatives, and adapting services to meet the changing needs of the local community. 

Join Us in Building a Stronger Community! 

We look forward to opening our doors to the public in March, providing a space where everyone is welcome, and the community can thrive.

Thank you for your ongoing support!