A cuppa, cake & kindness: Bargarran Primary’s community café

When you walk into Bargarran Primary’s community café, it’s hard not be impressed. 

Over 70 people are seated at tables all over the hall with ages ranging from 6 months old to 98 years young.

As soon as I arrived I was welcomed by a group of pupils with huge smiles, who helped show me to a table filled with incredible-looking home baking and coffees.

Speech Mark Open Green 01I asked one of the kids, Katie, why she enjoys taking part in the community café and she said that she “loves to see smiles on people’s faces”. Looking around the café, it was full of people laughing and having fun together.

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Amongst the attendees were residents of the local Erskine home established to care for Veterans. Two workers from the home, Jack and Lucinda, were talking about how much the residents loved the opportunity to come down to the school and how you could just see “ a brightness” in them when they got to talk to the kids.

It was just fascinating to get to spend a bit of time with Isabelle, who at 97 years old, was telling us all how she began her teaching career in bomb shelters in London during the Blitz.

Speech Mark Open Green 01Another resident, Peter, told us how important he feels initiatives like this are as he thinks ‘children should always get the chance to speak to different older folk, as there is such a lot for them both to learn by spending time together”.

I then asked one of the other kids, Liam, why he wanted to take part in the social enterprise in the first place. He said that he wanted “to be given responsibility” and “a chance to show what we can do.” 

The café itself is a perfect example of exactly what the kids are capable of.

Everywhere you look there are young people serving drinks, replenishing cakes, making sure it’s tidy or just talking to people and making sure they’re enjoying themselves.

Bargarran pupils selling drinks at their community cafe

The Deputy Head Teacher, Ms McWhirter, was “amazed” at just how well the kids had done on taking the lead in the project, and the class teacher, Ms Thomson, was “so impressed with the kids’ team working skills and how confident they were in talking to all the guests.”

Despite one of the kids asking me if my curly hair was supposed to be a perm (it’s definitely not by the way) it was an absolute joy to spend the morning down at Bargarran Primary and I left just so incredibly impressed with the work of all the pupils and Ms Thomson on putting on such a brilliant first café.

I can’t wait to hear about their next community café!

You can find Bargarran Primary on Twitter at @BargarranPS to follow their social enterprise journey.

To find out more about the Social Enterprise Schools programme, contact James at james@socialenterprise.academy

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