New Bulwell cafe employing adults with additional needs enjoys spectacular opening weekend

A new cafe in Bulwell proved so popular on its first weekend, people were queuing on the street to get in at one point.

Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 1:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 1:03 pm

The Curious Cafe & Gift Shop, located in the old Springfield Medical Centre building on Main Street, is a community project run by the charity LIFE and provides working opportunities for Nottinghamshire adults aged 19 and older with learning difficulties or disabilities.

The new business is an Alice in Wonderland-themed café and gift shop.

Bulwell MP Alex Norris carried out the official opening on the day and the public eager to visit straight away.

Bulwell MP Alex Norris officially opens the new Curious Cafe & Gift Shop in Bulwell

Suzi Wright, from LIFE, said: “The opening went fantastically well, it was just phenomenal, we had so many people come to see us, we literally them queueing out of the door for tables at one point.

"The atmosphere was buzzing, we had live music and entertainment in the yard and Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter were there too.

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"We’ve always wanted to have a community cafe to help showcase the abilities of people with learning difficulties and to give them valuable life skills.

“When this building (the old medical centre) became available, we thought it had great frontage and it would have enough room for us to do our own learning provision as before, but also be able to bring something else to the table as for the local community.”

As well as a cafe, the new venture is also a gift shop, meaning LIFE service users are able to utilise or learn and whole range of new skills.

Suzi continued: “We have around 40 students at the moment and obviously they can’t all be there at the same time but they will all get the chance to work there in some capacity as various different points.

"And from that, they all get some really useful skills, even if that’s just the very basics of making a cup of tea safely or learning how to clean up after themselves or cleaning up after other people, or just communication skills and getting that sense of purpose.”

The cafe will be open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday each week and initially, it will just do teas, coffees, slushes and cakes before expanding into foods like pizzas and waffles in the future.