Hartlepool cafe LilyAnne’s serving up free coffee for those in need - here's how you can help
A Hartlepool cafe has relaunched a scheme to help people suffering lonlieness, anxiety and depression enjoy a relaxing cuppa.
LilyAnne’s Coffee Bar in Victoria Road has restarted its Suspended Coffee scheme which sees customers donate the cost of a cup of coffee that is then matched by the coffee shop and distributed to those who would most benefit by community organisations across the town.
The coffee shop says it makes a huge difference to the local community and last year gave out over 1,000 of the free drinks.
Co-owner Angela Arnold said: "The suspended coffee scheme within Hartlepool has been a huge success with over 1,000 coffees donated by our community and matched by LilyAnne's so they can bring a friend or simply have two coffees.
"During the coronavirus lockdowns we had to close the business and could no longer hand our suspended coffees in the way we always have, therefore we are today relaunching the scheme to support those most impacted by loneliness, anxiety and depression while still supporting the many more within our community.
"Customers can come into LilyAnne's and buy a suspended coffee which costs £2.50 and makes a huge difference across our community.”
With LilyAnne’s matching each donated coffee, they say the scheme allows the person claiming it to bring a friend or just have two drinks in a place they will get a warm and friendly welcome.
The coffee shop works with organisations including food banks, the Poolie Time Exchange and The Annexe (Wharton Trust) in Dyke House which distributes vouchers to people who are most deserving of one of the free drinks.
They include people who would never consider treating themselves to a coffee, people who are suffering loneliness, depression, or those waiting up to six weeks for Universal Credit payments.
LilyAnne’s manager Trevor Sherwood added: “We hope to sell and match a similar number to last year to support people who have suffered the most during lockdown."
The scheme is just one of a number of initiatives the shop runs to educe social isolation as a community interest company.
To buy a suspended coffee, ask in the shop or do it online at www.lilyannes.co.uk/product-page/suspended-coffee