• Tom

Why We’re Choosing to Make a Positive Impact with a Café

Updated: Apr 16, 2018

In 2014, Noah’s ART was created with a remit of enhancing the human-animal bond to

reduce loneliness and isolation in vulnerable people. Since that time, we have come a

long way, able to make a positive impact on our community by enriching the lives of

local people through various means. Although our story thus far has been a success,

there has been a clear need for something more.

Loneliness is a Killer

Research has shown that loneliness can be as big a threat to life as smoking or obesity,

and it is not just the elderly who are at risk. Even with social media and it being easier

than ever to connect with people, loneliness is still very much prevalent in our country.

This is what inspired us to seek ways of bringing people together, and what better way

than with animals?

Working with Animals is Proven Beneficial

Working with animals has many benefits. Not only are they non-judgemental and love

us just the way we are, but they are responsive to interactions, and working with them

allows use to practice Mindfulness, the state of being aware of the here and now which

helps reduce worry and anxiety. Noah’s ART has already seen the benefit of this type of

animal therapy from working in care homes, mental health wards, and with children with

learning disabilities and autism.

Our previous projects had been working toward the café. Pet Power brought 15 people

with mixed diagnoses together weekly for six months. We found a sense of connection,

increased tolerance and much more fun had with “furrapists”. People surprised us

taking on different roles helping others out, too!

On the Road to the New Café

Noah’s ART’s most recent project, sponsored by Manchester Health and Care

Commissioning Group, really sent us down the community café route. We trained those

with mental health issues in both animal welfare and how to support the café. They

helped Noah’s ART run the Burnage Community Café, which was very well-attended by

rehabilitation units across Greater Manchester. It was obvious that people loved

spending time with animals and found social interactions much easier. Unfortunately at

the time, our funding was quite limited, and when the sessions ended, we were

inundated with requests to run them again. Not only were our participants sad it ended,

but our volunteers too, who had loved

helping out and felt a sense of belonging for it.

We decided to do something more permanent. The Noah’s ART Paws and Paints Pop-

in will be run as a commercial venture with our guest paying for time; tea, coffee and

cakes are free. In this way, when lottery funding ends we can keep going. The lottery

money allows us to support volunteers, who often don’t get a chance due to anxiety or

extra special care needs to gain vital work experience.

Pay-for- Time Model Benefits All

Paying for time has many benefits. At 20p per minute you can decide what your budget

is but still enjoy cake and coffee. Pay £2 and stay 10 minutes, perfect if you are on a

plan to work through anxiety and can only tolerate a few minutes. We also have a quiet

room that can be incorporated in any anxiety plan. If you feel the need to, have some

time alone to gain composure if suddenly feeling overwhelmed in café space. Pay £6

and stay for 30 minutes without the worry about having an extra cup of coffee. Every

penny paid in helps to support our animals and goes back into training volunteers. We

are giving people the chance to gain references and get back into paid work.

Meet new friends, meet the animals and support others in a unique meeting space

designed to help people with dementia or learning disabilities feel at home at our brand

new Paws and Paints Pop-in!

Open Day We invite you to our open day at The Together Centre, Dukinfield. Come and meet our therapy animals. Find out what we do and what we have planned for the future.

Our new social enterprise will be The "Pop Inn" which will be open to the general public; enjoy a brew while watching the bunnies or get creative with our cavies. Browse our unusual animal themed gifts for that unique present in our shop.

Open Day at The Together Centre on 28th April 2018 from 12 til 3pm. For more information call Sharon on 07973453942 or visit our Facebook page.
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