The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project
The Rural Coffee Caravan delivers information and friendship across Suffolk. Information is power – and the Rural Coffee Caravan befriends people and offers them access to the information they need to empower them.
Knowing what’s going on in our own communities isn’t always easy. It is especially difficult if access to transport is limited, or the village shop or pub or post office has gone, or you live in one of Suffolk’s very scattered parishes. We bring the Project to rural communities, equipped with coffee, tea & homemade cakes, along with all sorts of information about organisations and the services they offer you.
The Rural Coffee Caravan started up in 2003 to tackle rural isolation and promote community spirit. The Project was the brainchild of the Rev Canon Sally Fogden. Sally was manning a helpline in Suffolk for the Farm Crisis Network (a national charity providing wide ranging support for the farming community in the UK) and felt very strongly that there was a need to do something to combat the stress of rural isolation.
Sally and some colleagues hit upon the idea of a mobile community cafe and information centre. So they purchased a caravan, gathered together some relevant information, made some cakes and took the caravan into rural Suffolk.
Their little enterprise was an instant hit and, encouraged by this response, they applied for and received some funding and the Rural Coffee Caravan was born.
The caravan started out visiting rural communities in Mid Suffolk during the summer months. Since then it has spread its wings across the whole of the county and continued to grow. There is now a second vehicle – a campervan which visits village halls and coffee mornings year-round.
The information provided by the Coffee Caravan has helped many people gain access to the benefits, services and information they need and in one exceptional case played a fundamental part in the village of Bruisyard building a village hall.
The Coffee Caravan also helps foster community spirit by bringing people together in a relaxed social atmosphere to just chat and get to know each other better.
More and more villages want the Coffee Caravan to visit and the list of agencies wanting their information taken out to rural Suffolk continues to grow.
Tel: 01379 855338