Lisburn café serving up inspiration thanks to Housing Executive

Project Facilitator Lynsey Agnew at the recently refurbished Inspire Caf�
Project Facilitator Lynsey Agnew at the recently refurbished Inspire Caf�

A social enterprise café in Lisburn is planning to serve a menu of inspiration following a recent refurbishment at its premises thanks to the Housing Executive.

Run by the Lisburn City Church Community Trust, the Inspire Café based in Graham Gardens is now a bustling community hub in the heart of the city.

Project Facilitator Lynsey Agnew.

Project Facilitator Lynsey Agnew.

Where people can avail of some of the other community projects based nearby such as Lisburn Foodbanks, Holiday Clubs and Addiction Support services. A grant of £20,000 was provided by the Housing Executive under its Social Housing Enterprise Investment Scheme for the refurbishment of the Inspire Café with work carried out by volunteers, resulting in the employment of 6 members of staff on a part-time basis. The money raised in the café goes to towards the various not-for-profit community based initiatives supporting vulnerable people across Lisburn.

Aimed at developing services and creating new jobs and opportunities in local housing communities, the Investment Schemes provides awards ranging from up to £1000 to £50,000.

Project Facilitator Lynsey Agnew said: “We decided the café needed a full overhaul around Christmas time last year. I started seeking grants and funding streams to complete the much needed refurbishments. Despite being turned down by several organisations, we still decided to proceed and make a start, as we were so passionate about this facility. We continued to pursue funding options and applied for the Housing Executive Social Enterprise Fund, the day we started work was the day we received our letter of offer.

“The Social Enterprise team at the Housing Executive has been fantastic throughout our journey. They have been extremely helpful in providing advice and guidance throughout the process. The application for funding can be quite daunting but the support and expertise by the Investment Scheme team makes things easier.”