The Good Heart opened in July 2018 and was originally conceived as a ‘one year pop-up.’
During its the first year the café not only served an ever-increasing customer base of momo enthusiasts and others, but also offered hundreds of free meals to people in need. Questions are never asked, but we know these have included homeless people, families on low incomes and those struggling with Universal Credit delays, as well as anyone who may have simply been hungry and short of funds on that day. Some are referred by Fair Frome, the Frome Medical Practice, the Town Hall and other local organisations, while others find their own way to our door.
Pay it Forward is a simple but elegant system that enables everyone to eat together regardless of their financial circumstances. We rejoice in the way that it seems to happen almost effortlessly, sustained by the ongoing generosity of the many people who are willing and able to sponsor the meals of others. In the Spring of 2019 we were proud to be part of International Pay It Forward Day.
At evenings and weekends a range of other activities took place, all on a donation-only basis. It’s been a pleasure to host the monthly meetings of Sustainable Frome, as well as the creative gatherings of the children involved in the school strikes for climate change. Extinction Rebellion soon outgrew the space but continues to offer a weekly Extinction Café at 3pm on Tuesday afternoons, where people come together to deepen their understanding of the climate emergency and its effect on us all. When Somerset Drugs and Alcohol Service closed down across the road, we offered to host a weekly art therapy group for their clients.
In the autumn of 2018, we hosted a six-week mindfulness course called Kinder Calmer Stronger designed to help people learn to meditate and shed their stress. We also began hosting meetings of alternative therapists, which has grown into a vibrant group called Wellbeing Frome which now offers a range of treatments by donation to local people who cannot otherwise afford them.
On 30th July 2019 The Good Heart hosted a small party to thank some of its key supporters. We never know what the future holds, but have to accept we are no longer a one-year pop up…