If you have been down to Churchill Gardens, Boscombe, in the last 2 years you may well have encountered some Pop Up Joy.
The Joy Cafe, a pop up cafe that makes its home outside the Churchill Gardens youth hut, is now a frequent feature of the residential park and it really is bringing a smile to peoples faces. Founder Becky and her volunteers are out there rain or shine, and they together spend their time selling home made cakes, drinks and join in with the kids splashing in puddles (if it’s raining) and hula hooping (when it’s sunny).
If you ask Becky how she would describe The Joy Cafe, she’ll more than likely say “why, it’s a lush little cafe with a heart for building life giving community!”.
How’s that for a gorgeous strap line?!
“I’ve wanted to run a cafe since I was 18. A place where people can have a great time together but also have a chance to experience something a bit different… Somewhere for people to find some peace, some love and some joy.”
“When I moved to Churchill Gardens, saw the park and the park building and thought… ‘this could be it! I saw a lady set up a table in the park to sell sweets and thought, cor, is it as easy as that?”
And it turns out that it, kind of, was that easy! Becky and her team have been popping up in the gardens for over two years now, opening for the afternoon during the school runs for 4 days a week.
Everything about Joy Cafe delights in getting people to share life together. The large shared tables outside of the building plays host to meet ups, workshops and dinners. All year round they bring out boxes and boxes of hula hoops, frisbees, and crafting materials for people to get stuck into.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this all outside? Yes. Yes it is. They haven’t been able to run from inside of the building because they needed all sorts of permissions to change the use of the building. But now Becky has some exciting news...
"The Joy Cafe has the lease to the building in the park and we now have planning permission for the change of use of the building to a cafe and community space!”
It hasn’t been an easy journey (planning permission never is!) but they are now within sniffing distance of The Joy Cafe taking it’s next leap forward! They’ll be able to be open for longer, host more activities and not worry every time the grey clouds roll over the park.
What wonderful news!
You can keep up to date with The Joy Cafe’s progress on their Facebook page. Go on, give them a like.
So we say three cheers to all those who work so hard to make things like this happen. Hats off to you all!