As part of a programme of renovations at The Salvation Army’s church (corps) in Keighley a new community café has opened the doors on compassion, hospitality and a crackin ‘Army cup of tea’ this week (Monday 10th October 2016). The café has been funded by donations and in the last month, Church Leader at Keighley, Lieutenant Ben has been asking for the community to sponsor furnishings and equipment for the café. Lieutenant, Ben, said: “We are keen to ensure the café feels like it belongs to the community so we wanted to encourage people to sponsor some of the items we needed. For example, local people were able to sponsor a chair, a table, or some cutlery. We are so grateful for the response as we raised more than £3000 in a month.” Ben aims for this space to be flexible and anticipates it will help to build relationships and connect local people to support if needed. Some local mums are hoping to start meeting regularly at the café and a group of refugees who live in Keighley plan to meet to improve their English. Ben, said: “We believe our new café will quickly become a real hub for the community. We’d like to encourage the whole community to consider popping in for a coffee or for their lunch – it’s for everyone.” The café will be run by staff and more than 20 volunteers. Cakes will be supplied by a local mum who has recently launched a new business, Three Little Birds. Ben, continued: “When we were thinking about creating a community café, we worked with local people to come up with three values and they are, relationships, hospitality and compassion. We are confident that the café will help us to continue to deliver these to the community and make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in the area.” Opening times for the café are: Monday to Wednesday 10 am to 3pm and 10am until 1pm on Thursdays. The renovations included a new front door which opens out onto a new light and bright foyer, and a refurbished kitchen. For more than 150 years the Church and charity has been transforming lives and continues to do so today in communities across the UK and throughout the world.