Branches reach out for new community café

A brand-new café to support young people is opening in Botley thanks to a grant of almost £7,000 from Vale of White Horse District Council. 

Branches is opening a community café at the West Way shopping centre providing a much-needed meeting place for the local community. 

The social enterprise group will use the new homes bonus grant funding to transform one of the empty units at West Way for 18 months to kick start their new enterprise.  The money will go towards new equipment and initial staff costs for the coffee shop whilst phase one of the shopping centre undergoes redevelopment.  

Branches aims to open before the summer for the whole community to use during the day.  After school and into the evening, the café’s focus will to be provide a safe and fun place for young people to socialise and take part in workshops and positive activities.  There will be opportunities for secondary school children and young adults to be involved in running the business. 

The new venture will benefit local families and friends with a new place to meet up, help young people aged 12 - 18 and will help Branches raise funds for their youth work and projects in the Botley area. 

Cllr Charlotte Dickson, cabinet member for community services at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “This is a fantastic example of a social enterprise supporting its local community.  There’s a lot of exciting change about to happen in Botley, and I am very sure the café will become an integral part of the area whilst the new shopping centre is being built.” 

Dave Goodspeed, Director of Branches, said: “Our vision is of a thriving café, serving the community with young people at its heart.  We want to offer a safe and nurturing place for young people to socialise and learn skills.” 

Branches café is currently looking for volunteers to help support the local enterprise.  Anyone can get involved by contacting diane@branchesyouth.uk

Branches Young People’s Support Service is also supported by Oxfordshire County Council, Soha, North Hinksey Parish Council, Doris Field Trust, The Sprout, North Hinksey Junior Youth Club and local donors.