A “candlelight cafe” has reopened to provide a safe place for women across the district.
Petrus, a charity that provides residential and daytime support to people affected or at risk of homelessness in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, opened its “Candlelight Cafe” for the first time since the pandemic began on Thursday, July 8th. reopened.
Located in the center of the charity on Great George Street, the cafe uses only fairy lights and tea lights to create a welcoming atmosphere.
Caroline Molloy, Women’s Empowerment Associate, said the service gives women attending an opportunity to access and socialize with all of the charity’s services.
She said, “We dim all the lights in the hub and then we have little fairy lights and tea lights just to create a nice, cozy and inviting atmosphere for the ladies.
“The main goal of the group is to provide women with different trauma and multiple trauma with a safe place where they can focus on their wellbeing.
“It’s a protected space and they can access support for anything they need, be it domestic violence, substance problems, homelessness or their home.”
The café will be open every Thursday in the hub from 11 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., and visitors will also have access to supplies such as toiletries and toiletries from the dedicated women’s service team.
Caroline added that her team had a great response at the reopening.
“We had a good response. Lots of women are happy that we’re open again to come in and sit down, ”she said.
“We now have breakfast in a similar way too, so it was nice that they could go back to their own room.
“Because we turn off the big fluorescent lights and have the fairy lights, it’s a really welcoming atmosphere as soon as you walk in. It is a completely protected space with no judgment for them. “
Next to the cafe, Caroline is hoping to start a “Grow and Cook group” so the women can grow their own herbs and gain food qualifications by preparing meals to embrace the service.
She added that it was also important for attendees to have a space specifically designed for women.
Caroline said, “This is really important because some women have suffered a lot of trauma, often from men, so it is important for us to have this safe space.
“It’s about taking your life into your own hands and leading a healthy life.
“Much of the socialization they do is peer-led and they seek each other for that lived experience and support.”
The Petrus Hub is located at 73 Great George Street, Rochdale, OL16 1QG.
To find out more, email [email protected] or call 01706 526289 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).