Could you help what might be Britain’s smallest coffee shop which could close due to a lack of volunteers?

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 January 2017

Jill Lewis and Janet Leek in front of Lenny's Coffee Shop.

Jill Lewis and Janet Leek in front of Lenny's Coffee Shop.

Archant

A ‘unique’ community-run café which has been serving residents and charities for 20 years is set to close this month – but could you breathe new life into this ‘community asset’?

Lenny’s Coffee Shop in Shipham, which might be the smallest in the country, is under threat of closing.

It was once a tiny butchers shop, but when it closed 20 years ago supporters of St Leonard’s Church in Shipham took the building on to run a community coffee shop to create a hub for the village and raise money for charity.

Since then, dog-walkers, cyclists and residents alike have taken refuge at Lenny’s, in The Square, and enjoyed delicious homemade treats and hot drinks – but a lack of volunteers could now force its doors to close for good.

Jill Lewis, who runs the café, is stepping down and is calling on more people to take action to keep Lenny’s open.

She said: “The people who have been volunteering are getting older so we are losing workers.

“We have had some volunteers come from outside the village, but we need help with waitressing and within the café.

“It’s an important meeting point for all ages, it’s a community café and an asset to the village with all profits going to British charities.”

A petition at nearby Hansford’s butchers, in The Square, to keep Lenny’s open has been well supported, but a decision on its future will be made at the end of January.

A Shipham Parish Council spokesman said the council would be ‘sorry’ to see it go.

The spokesman added: “It’ll be sad if this is the end of Lenny’s Coffee Shop after 20 years serving soup and homemade cakes to residents of the village and visitors.

“The parish council is extremely grateful to all the volunteer helpers over the years who have been involved in the baking, serving and just being there with a friendly face and always a conversation.

“It really is a unique asset. It has also raised hundreds of pounds for charity over the years.”

Ms Lewis hopes she can pass the mantle to someone else to ensure Lenny’s will continue to serve the village.

She added: “I want people to enjoy using it as a centre for meeting people in Shipham.

“I am encouraging people to use it, otherwise they will lose it.”

If you want to volunteer at Lenny’s contact Jill Lewis on 01934 782845.

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