Gloomy future for cosy cafe

A VITAL cafe which helps people with mental health problems integrate back into society could soon close because of funding problems

A VITAL cafe which helps people with mental health problems integrate back into society could soon close because of funding problems.Bosses of the Tea Cosy, in Oxford Street, Weston, are warning that the town's mental health sufferers who depend on the cafe could soon simply be left on the streets.The cafe is run by former mental health patients for sufferers as well as for the general public, and people rely upon it, not only for help and advice but simply for somewhere to go.Until now the cafe has received Government funding but, due to cutbacks, this has been withdrawn and it is now desperately looking for cash to help it survive. It has also received grants from organisations such as Weston Town Council and received temporary funding from North Somerset Council while it searched for permanent funding.The cafe's plight was highlighted by Councillor Nigel Ashton at a meeting of North Somerset Council's executive committee, when he read out a letter to councillors from staff at the cafe.It said: "The Tea Cosy is a working cafe open to the public that is staffed by people who have experience of mental health problems in their lives."For many the Tea Cosy is the first step back into the world and part of the recovery process."The Tea Cosy has enjoyed funding support in the past from social services, but due to Government cutbacks this has been withdrawn. Without this money the Tea Cosy will close down."We have 21 clients who depend on the cafe and they will have to spend their days on the streets because they have nowhere else to go."A North Somerset Council spokesman said: "We have supported the Tea Cosy project on an interim basis while it sought funding from other sources. We are disappointed it has not secured alternative funding.


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