Ripon cafe goes the extra mile to raise funds for homeless charity

Lou (centre) and the Oliver's Pantry team raised 230 for Ripon YMCA with the support of Roastology.
Lou (centre) and the Oliver's Pantry team raised 230 for Ripon YMCA with the support of Roastology.

Much-loved Ripon cafe Oliver's Pantry has shown great support for a youth homelessness charity in the city, going the extra mile to raise vital funds and awareness.

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Guests attending the coffee school event.

Guests attending the coffee school event.

Not only have staff decided to take part in a sponsored sleep out on the Market Square next month to help Ripon YMCA, the team also successfully organised and hosted a coffee school event to raise funds.

This well-attended evening secured £230 for Ripon YMCA, and served up a packed programme of presentations, workshops and a wide range of masterclasses for Ripon residents and visitors, supported by Sheffield company Roastology.

The £230 will go towards supporting Ripon YMCA's female tenants, who are setting up a craft group.

The charity's Chief Executive Officer, Lucy Gratton, said: "Some of our tenants are vulnerable and isolated due to their individual circumstances. We are excited to start running sessions to support small groups of tenants with a common interest.

Ripon's about to roll out a really important scheme to help people with disabilities and the elderly

The event in full swing.

The event in full swing.

"As part of our mission to involve our tenants in the local community, and the local community in their YMCA, we are looking for volunteers. If you are able to teach a small group of our tenants how to knit, paint, scrapbook, make cards, create Christmas decoration or small gifts please get in touch with us.

"The vital funds raised by our business partners at Oliver’s Pantry will kick-start this group, helping to purchase equipment and materials."

Oliver's Pantry owner Lou Jones, said: "We have built a great relationship with the team at Ripon YMCA. We believe the social issues around homelessness are a huge challenge. It’s not just the people you see on the street in the big towns and cities, but also the hidden side - people sofa surfing, sleeping in tents or sheds.

"The YMCA does great work to help address these issues, and although it's a well-known organisation, it is not centrally funded, each local branch has to raise its own funds.

Lou takes part in one of the demonstrations.

Lou takes part in one of the demonstrations.

"With Oliver's Pantry being a local business, we like to support local charities, and feel the work the YMCA does is of huge benefit both in terms of accommodation, but also the mentoring of young people."

To sponsor Lou and the Oliver's Pantry team for their sleep out on Ripon Market Square to raise funds for Ripon YMCA, click here.

More than 20 people will be joining them in taking part in the event on March 8 to highlight hidden homelessness and the scale of the issue. To find out more, or to get in touch about volunteering for Ripon YMCA, call 01765 607609, or email lucy@riponymca.org.