ST BARNABAS: Coffee shop volunteers offer a warm welcome to visitors

Hugh Lowson

Hugh Lowson

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One of the first things visitors encounter when arriving at St Barnabas House is our coffee shop, which is located on the right hand side of the main reception.

Run entirely by volunteers, the coffee shop plays an important role in not only serving a variety of refreshments to visitors and members of staff, but also providing a friendly face and a warm welcome to the hospice.

It is open from 10am to 5pm on weekdays and from midday to 4pm at the weekend.

The coffee shop team consists of 29 committed volunteers who ensure that it remains open seven days a week throughout the year.

Our longest serving member of the team is Iris who has been a volunteer at St Barnabas for over 22 years.

Last week I was chatting to Jean, who has been a volunteer for 11 years.

She has spent eight of those years working at the weekend in the coffee shop.

Jean told me about how she enjoys meeting all of the different people who visit the hospice, from those who just want a cup of coffee, to the children who come up to her with 50p in their hand.

Our coffee shop provides a number of snacks, including a selection of sandwiches, crisps, fruit and cakes.

We also serve hot and cold drinks, as well as our soup of the day – which I am reliably informed is one of our most popular products.

Head chef Amanda Woolgar and her catering team make 24 rounds of sandwiches every day while our volunteers sell around 80 cakes each week, ensuring that all of our visitors are well catered for.

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