Edinburgh charity Comas – café facing closure
A charity which helps those in recovery and which has taken many steps towards its own sustainability is facing imminent closure of its cafe at Jackson’s Entry.
The charity was only established 10 years ago and has done much good work in Dumbiedykes and the immediate area around Holyrood. But now with only three months left on the lease of its premises it is faced with finding a new home.
The cafe is the centre of the charity’s work as it allows the service users to have a place they can meet or in time work. The café is one where you really do find a welcome no matter who you are, and the food is always very tasty.
The charity has been served with notice to quit by 27 June 2018 and while it is operating on the same basis as before it is in need of some help to find a new hub.
Fiona Morrison, Chief Executive of Comas, said:
“Losing our premises is a major blow. It’s vital for the continuity of our services – a lifeline on which so many people in our community depend – that we find alternative suitable accommodation that is affordable and accessible.
“As well as providing a space where people can come together to find the solutions they need, Serenity Café is open to the public, selling a range of modestly-priced meals and snacks. It’s therefore an important source of funding for our charity, as is our excellent event space which we hire out for a wide variety of functions and events. We therefore really need mixed-use accommodation which enables us to maintain these revenue-generating resources.”
The charity needs :
Money for deposit on a new lease, relocation and start up.
Premises up to 250 square metres.
You can help by making a donation on its Go Fund Me page here.
Karen Stevenson, Chair of Comas, is keen to raise awareness of the importance to Edinburgh’s recovery community of the Serenity Café by sharing its, and her, story. She said:
“The Serenity Café first began with a piece of paper, by way of a questionnaire. The recovery community in Edinburgh was growing but with no place of their own to socialise. Bars pubs and clubs were no longer an option. The questionnaire showed that there was a need for a safe space in the city so café club nights began. These were held on the last Friday of the month, planned and set up by volunteers. From this starting point the café grew from strength to strength and then we were fortunate enough to secure funding to have our very own premises. A movement had begun!
“The café blossomed and quickly became the heartbeat of the recovery community in Edinburgh. Interest grew and everyone wanted to know how this was working, with other recovery communities visiting to see how we achieved this. Membership grew and we were able to broaden our horizons and have a café space which was open to the recovery community and the wider public.
“We love our café and if you were to ask all the individuals who have been involved in our journey since that questionnaire, they will explain how much a space like this is needed. We can tell you about our first experience of dancing without the use of substances, the first time we brought in The New Year without a drink, or the first time we served a latte (which we made ourselves!) to a member of the public. And we will tell you too about the celebrations we’ve held in our beloved Serenity – from the birthdays of recovery community members to weddings.
“Please, help us keep our community flourishing by saving our Serenity.”