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FTPA Problem Solving Award

Educafe CIC

Founded in July 2021, Educafe is a new inclusive social movement that brings wider West Berkshire community together by following an innovative approach to mapping the needs of diverse ethnic communities with direct engagement through community cafes, conversation, education, wellbeing activities & indirectly through social media connections. 

The café has become a weekly central hub where visitors currently benefit from befriending, free refreshments, arts & crafts, knit & natter, English conversation practise, Parent’s Village, children’s health, child support workshops & activities, and the Partner Village offering service-provider support

Founders, Clare Middleton & Colline Watts say “during our first year, Educafe has continued to gather momentum to reach diverse ethnic communities.

  • Social media reach 38K.
  • 1K+ Facebook followers, 85% growth over the last twelve months.
  • 706+ Instagram followers, growing 65%.
  • Weekly Community Café, every Wednesday increasing from 80–90 visitors per-week to approximately 180, growing 110%.
  • The innovative Parents' Village growing from ~ 65 families to 230. Families share a WhatsApp group to support each other & meet regularly at the café.
  • The Working Parents' Village meets monthly & benefits parents working midweek.

Educafe directly impacts following groups:

  • Brazilians of Newbury/Thatcham 602 
  • West Berkshire Muslim Centre 537 
  • Indians in Newbury & Thatcham 636 
  • West Berkshire Refugees 1,700
  • Women in Newbury 2,300
  • Community Matters–Westfields 918

The demographic of Educafe’s followers on social media includes: Ukraine, Portuguese (Brazilian, Portugal), Hong Kong, Polish, Spanish, Arabic, French, Romanian, Italian, Slovak, German, Turkish, Norwegian, & Czech.

Other contributions include:

  • Delivering bespoke ‘Ready for School English’ programme for 60 Ukrainian children & 40 adults.
  • Delivering ESOL for work courses to Afghan & Hong Kong Refugees during 2021-22.
  • Educafe Chatty Corner, benefitting 250+ residents with language support.
  • Educafe’s Wellbeing Festival 2022 delivered 55-activities over 12-weeks benefiting 400+ residents with free or affordable wellbeing activities, etc.

As a beneficiary, an Indian immigrant, & a volunteer, I can attest that Educafe is a valuable asset to the entire community. Through in-house efforts, West Berkshire Council, & over 40 other partnerships with local support services, they enable social inclusion for diverse ethnic communities, tackling problems such as mental health & loneliness, the need for English language support courses, access to work & employability, housing for Ukrainians, childcare-related challenges, & demystifying UK Health & Education System, among others.

Educafe is a Community Interest Company that relies on donations & grants to protect & sustain its operations. Therefore, it is my pleasure to nominate them for the People Awards 2022 in the hope of garnering the attention & funds they deserve to support their growing impact.