Coffee and Community: Tackling Rural Isolation

Service Delivery Winner: Coffee and Community: Tackling Rural Isolation

The Rural Coffee Caravan’s project addresses the isolation and loneliness of older people in rural areas, which often leads them to feel disconnected in their communities.

Discover the transformative journey of the Rural Coffee Caravan, United Kingdom as they share their remarkable story of innovation and community impact through their award-winning project, Coffee and Community: Tackling Rural Isolation.

What does winning an European Social Services Award mean for your organisation? How do you feel about this recognition and experience?

We are thrilled and overwhelmed to win this award. We are a small rural charity, so to not only receive this recognition outside the UK but to be able to share what we do, with European friends has been such a special experience for us and such a boost for all our staff and volunteers.

Why did you choose to apply for the 2023 European Social Services Awards?

It was suggested to us by our local authority.

What is the added value of being part of a European Network for your organisation? Why is it important to share practice and projects with other actors across Europe?

To learn from and be inspired by projects across Europe. We are always looking for ways to improve and extend our offer. We have a very simple but effective model than can be relatively easily recreated anywhere, so it is a wonderful opportunity for us to hopefully inspire similar projects in other countries.

How does your winning project support person-centred care?

Every individual who we come into contact is provided with support tailored to them. Eg not being forced to take part in group activities/conversations unless they so wish, providing information and advice tailored to people circumstances, welfare checks for those who do not attend as scheduled etc. Our team know their clientele so well and cater to their needs, be it emotional, physical or even dietary eg how people like their cups of tea/ or someone with diabetes who can only eat low sugar cakes. The impact of this is that people feel they matter, they are not just a number, trust is developed as relationships go beyond just alleviating loneliness.

What were the key reasons for the success of your project?

I think it’s our simplicity. The fact that we go to where the isolated and lonely people are and give them support and a warm welcoming environment in which they can connect with each other, where they live. These connections strengthen their community and enable them to support each other. I thinks it’s also the obvious passion and dedication of our staff and volunteers. We work closely as a team and support each other as well as our clientele. We will always go that extra mile because we care.

Why should an organisation enter the Awards in 2024?

The whole awards experience has been an uplifting one. To be in a space with so many people dedicated to improving lives and caring for vulnerable people has been both heartwarming and inspiring. To be able to see and learn how other countries deal with the issues we all face is both a humbling experience and a privilege. Its feels good to be part of something bigger than ourselves, a European community on a kindness driven mission, together!