A NEW coffee shop is set to line a Solihull street – but this one hopes to tackle isolation in the community.
Small Changes on Lyndon Road shut up shop the week before Christmas in order for renovations to take place and work on the coffee shop to begin.
Now retail manager Karen Davenport cannot wait to get back into the renovated shop which raises money to help those recovering from drug abuse and their families.
There are hopes the shop and coffee shop will open their doors during March.
She said: “When we first opened three years ago the vision was to not only have the retail shop but also a coffee shop to bring the community together.
“Customers have been saying to us it’s such a shame there isn’t a coffee shop as the community would like it.
“There is great excitement around the community that this is actually happening.
“It is lovely to be able to finally see our original plan being brought to life.
“I am desperate to get back and getting things organised, I have really missed everybody and it’s going to be great to open with our coffee shop too.”
The charity says funds from the coffee shop will support the running of the coffee shop and training for those who want to get back into employment for both Changes UK’s clients and volunteers in the community.
To make their dream turn into a reality the charity were handed a grant from The Veolia Environmental Trust landfill fund in order to refurbish the coffee shop project.
They were also given advice from 200 Degrees for the design, set up, menu and running of the coffee shop.
Changes UK, which Small Changes is part of, adds the coffee shop will be focused on bringing the community together as there is a real issue in Lyndon of isolation and it hopes to address that with community events that bring both young and old together.
Carl Thompson who has been giving training by Changes UK, and is 15 and a half months clean, will be the coffee shop team leader said: “I’m really excited about the opening of Changes Coffee, its been a real gift to be involved in the project and have a say from the start right through to opening.
“I grew up in Olton and went to Chapelfields primary and Lyndon Senior School so this community is really close to my heart.
“Small Changes is such a place of connection already, Changes Coffee is going to be a great extension of that.
“The stigma surrounding addiction is such a barrier to returning to work especially within the city in which your addiction began.
“I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to give something back to the community I grew up in and be able to contribute as a valuable member of society and its really important to me to be able to be part of a project where others can receive the same support that I received. “