We at Betsy Jenny Wellbeing Cafe, want to wish you all a Merry Christmas!
The ‘Awards for All’ funding kindly issued by the National Lottery, was used to run a pay as you feel initiative which started in July 2022. We ran the initiative for as long as the funding would last and delivered meals on a pay as you feel basis over 2 days per week until the funding ended at the end of December. This scheme was enjoyed by over 200 low-income families and was a lifeline to those who needed it most. We saw most success and footfall during the school holiday periods. However, this was also a great help to those who were frequenting our café living on state pensions and facing escalating utility prices due to the cost-of-living crisis.
Our selection by Sunderland City Council to be a ‘Warm Space’ was also of great support to those who were struggling in the cost-of-living crisis. It saw many come to our community café as we issued free of charge hot drinks and signposted to other organisations who could help, with contributing issues they may have had going on in their lives.
Betsy Jenny went further, forging partnerships with several organisations delivering:
substance misuse support
holistic therapies such a reiki and yoga
art and crafts
listening ear service
We became associate sponsors at Sunderland AFC and our reputation has grown across the city as a result. We want all our patrons to know that we are still here to help.
Already in 2023, we have worked to strengthen partnerships with other social- and like-minded enterprises. We will be running a Sunderland Men’s Pie Club in the future and are already in talks to add a NA (Narcotics Anonymous) meeting to our café alongside the already frequented AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting that is already running.
Newcastle charity Clean Slate Financial Wellbeing have agreed to come to our space once per week and help those with benefit advocacy and debt advice and we have sourced a link for meditation delivery and ‘sound baths’ for those who want to develop their spiritual side.
We have already started several of our own small projects like the wellbeing walk, community leave a book take a book library and games days. We also have some fantastic volunteers who are delivering a popular women’s group every Monday between 1pm-3pm, cake decorating activities and arts and crafts.
Betsy Jenny seems to be growing in awareness through other organisations with smoking cessation, counselling and substance misuse support already being delivered.
We have function room, one 2 one room and a board room for hire and many are selecting Betsy Jenny to run private functions like birthday parties, graduation parties and more.
We hope to see even more of you in the future.
A huge thank you to all who continue to invest in our small community idea. We hope to see you all soon.
Steven Lynn (Managing Director)
The staff and volunteers of Besty Jenny Counselling and Wellbeing Café