Inspire Others

This is about our visits to local cafés doing inspiring work trying to change lives.

This is a photo of the first time that I visited Barista and Beyond in Reading with Richard (my Neuropsychologist, Dr Coates).

Barista and Beyond share their story on their website below:

Please click on the link below to view their website pictured above

Barista and Beyond website

Here is a clip of Barista and Beyond on BBC South Today and an interview with Charlie and Charles who have found working here so helpful.

Here we are both enjoying a Falafel wrap each. They were delicious. They serve good tea and coffee too. We didn’t get to try the cakes, but they are bound to be delicious as well.

We visited the amazing Mad Duck Café in Purley on Thames. The Mad Duck has a beautiful garden (above) as you enter. They have all kinds of creative things, such as an old pair of jeans turned into a flower pot. Inside, it feels very homely.

We chose to sit outside, as there is a wonderful view of Blount’s Meadow down towards the River Thames. This me with Richard again and Sharon (my Support Worker).

Zoe Martin (my Occupational Therapist) also joined us.

This is Mandy and Donna, the owners. The Mad Duck is called the Mad Duck, because it is M..andy A..nd D…onna. I don’t know where the Duck bit came from, maybe as there are lots of ducks on the river there. They were sitting in Donna’s kitchen on a rainy afternoon and had the idea, “Why don’t we open up a café to bring everyone in the village together again, like it used to be when we were growing up.”

Please click here to listen to the interview:

In 2023, The Mad Duck Café won BBC Radio Berkshire’s Good Neighbour of the Year in their Make a Difference Awards.

They have done so many amazing things for Purley on Thames, including, being a welcoming space for all to visit (including dogs), setting up a Warm Hub for older people struggling with the rising costs of energy, a hub for so many community groups to meet, jointly settling up a food swap (Purley Pantry) with Purley Sustainability Group, helping raise money for local groups, projects and people and so much more. They basically bring life to the village and enhance caring for one another. They really do Make a Difference.