The K9 Community Café was set up three years ago by Chris Kent from the K9 project and extends the same values and ethos to the wider community. It is open every Thursday at the Cathedral Centre in Ely between 10 and 12 serving Starbucks coffee and goodies. The K9 Community Café provides a safe, social space to enjoy a coffee with your dog if you have one (or you can share someone else’s – there’s plenty to go around!).
The café attracts a diverse group of people, those who just pop in for a coffee and a doggie cuddle, family carers who need a social outlet and those who may have other needs. The nature of the café is one of an informal support network which enables people to live a fulfilling life. Examples include a lady who has severe dementia and her dog, who cannot access the local dementia café as her dog is not welcome there – this is a common theme amongst a number of more formal support groups. The café has built a community feel and people have extended their kindness beyond the café into the local community. We understand if you struggle in new situations but you can be assured you will receive a warm welcome; feel free to message us and we may be able to help.
The café is run by a small team of volunteers who ensure its smooth running. We have great relationships with local businesses, Isle of Pets, Rewarding Paws Dog Training Solutions, and now Starbucks. Mel Thomason from Rewarding Paws is a regular visitor with her Border Collie puppy ‘Ernie’; she is happy to help with any behavioural issues you may have. We are very excited to have Rita’s Dog Grooming who will be popping in to clip nails and give advice on your dog’s coat and condition. We also hold dog related activities – recently we had a dog show. We have an exciting programme of events throughout the summer which will be published shortly.
If you are interested in setting up a K9 Community Café in your local area Chris has written a great guide to help you ‘How to set up a K9 Community Café’. Chris also published a book ‘Hounds that Heal: People and dogs it’s a kind of magic’ (available at Amazon) all about the special dogs from the K9 project. Her latest project is in collaboration with a local photographer celebrating the work of the café and the power of the bond between people and their dogs.
The K9 Community Café has become one of the latest cafés across Britain to join Starbucks Community Café programme. This new partnership will give The K9 Community Café the ability to place regular orders for supplies such as coffee, tea and milk to help sustain this vital community space, support and guidance that is relied upon by many.
So pop along to the K9 Community Café any Thursday between 10am and 12 at the Cathedral Centre, Ely. Look forward to meeting you! To find out more visit our Facebook page.
Woofs Toby Cavalier x