'Warm space' keeps going despite financial pressure

Woman looking down lens in front of flat-roofed brick building in sunny parkImage source, Josh Gorroño Chapman/BBC
Image caption,

Louise Deane first stumbled across the building on a dog walk

  • Published

A warm space for struggling people in Cleethorpes has been kept going by its organiser long after a government grant for the project came to an end.

Louise Deane, 45, first turned the Haverstoe Park Pavilion into a community cafe when she took it over in 2020, and it received funding to become a warm space in February 2023.

Even though that grant was supposed to last for only two months, Ms Deane - who has had to make personal cutbacks herself - has continued to run the cafe that way ever since.

But with bills still on the rise, she said she was worried she would not be able to carry on without more support.

Image source, Josh Gorroño Chapman/BBC
Image caption,

Ms Deane redecorated the whole building with donated paint

The non-profit operation was given £1,000 in February 2023 by the government to support a warm space.

"It should have only run for two months, but we found it became self-sufficient," said Ms Deane.

"And for as long as people keep donating items or cash, it will keep running."

But she admitted it would need more support.

“When we first started [the cafe] in November 2020, the electric was £250 a month," she said.

"Now it's £500 but we're doing the same thing and we can't put the prices up to match.

"The building needs more and we need a bit more, just to keep going."

Image source, Josh Gorroño Chapman/BBC
Image caption,

A family meal for four at the cafe is under £8

Ms Deane said she often saw parents bringing their children to the cafe but not eating anything themselves - but she urged everyone who was in need to use what was on offer.

"We're about getting the community bigger, closer, friendlier and coming together," she said.

She has noticed even friends who previously had good disposable income having to cut back.

"If those people are struggling, what are people doing that didn't have much in the first place? And, to be honest, I'm one of those people."

Image source, Louise Deane
Image caption,

Ms Deane, who has had to sell her van, said people across the board were feeling the pinch

Ms Deane's salary is supplemented by universal credit, so when her van failed its MoT, she couldn't meet the repair bill.

"I couldn't afford the £800 to get it fixed, so I just had to sell it. Now I'm a pedestrian," she said.

"We get the bus. I've got a festival trolley piled high with bags and sometimes my child is sat in there."

Follow BBC Lincolnshire on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), external, and Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastyorkslincs.news@bbc.co.uk, external