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Abbey People coffee truck gets three years’ grant funding



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The Abbey People coffee truck had its first outing this week, when it showed up on Barnwell Road on Monday.

Nicky Shepherd, CEO of Abbey People, with the coffee truck. Picture: Keith Heppell
Nicky Shepherd, CEO of Abbey People, with the coffee truck. Picture: Keith Heppell

The truck will be outside the Abbey People community shop at Barnwell shops on Friday mornings, and will be run by Claire Nichols, Abbey People’s community and youth worker.

“Claire will be running sessions with younger people who want to get trained as a barista,” said Nicky Shepard, Abbey People’s CEO. “We’ve got three young people not in education or training at the moment, and we’re hoping to train between six and 10 by the end of the year.”

Abbey People has received a total of £90,000 including from Postcode Places Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, with additional money from the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Ridgeons Family Endowed Fund through Cambridgeshire Community Foundation. A new three-year grant from the Westminster Foundation for youth work will allow Abbey’s young people to gain work experience in the hospitality sector and develop professional barista skills. Other new initiatives rolling out in the coming weeks include a summer holiday club and a Little Free Library project, starting with a family event at 2pm on August 25 on Coldham’s Common (details here).

“We are over the moon to have secured this funding which will help us to develop new projects as well as provide longer-term stability to the organisation,” says Nicky. “Covid forced us to grow quickly to respond to immediate need in the community but now we can extend our reach and our impact while maintaining the existing support activities, including the Abbey Food Hub.

Nicky Shepard at the opening of the Abbey People hub on Barnwell Road last year
Nicky Shepard at the opening of the Abbey People hub on Barnwell Road last year

“The new funding and the projects we are developing will give such a boost to all age groups in Abbey this summer.

“Nonetheless, it only scratches the surface of what is needed to meet the increasing needs and systemic poverty in our community. So, we are working hard within the team to secure long-term grant and donation income which will mean we are able to support this area for years to come.”

Independent café Hot Numbers is roasting coffee beans for the truck

“We chose Hot Numbers because we knew we wanted a local supplier and we admire their ethics policy – they are also doing the barista training,” notes Nicky.

As well as being at Barnwell shops on Friday mornings, the truck will also be in use at community events and sports fundraisers.



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