We had the most amazing and inspiring time visiting the Camerados ‘Living Room’ in Blackpool. This friendly and vibrant cafe is run entirely by volunteers who’ve often had all sorts of troubles, but this is a space where everyone is welcome, no one is judged, and everyone gets their voice heard.
Camerados feels like a such an exicting and progressive model, failure is not just allowed but embraced, limiting terms like ‘clients’ and ‘service providers’ are thrown out the window in favour of us all being Camerados.
We spend time meeting the people who run the cafe, and in line with their vision for ‘Starbucks run by Samaritans’ all the staff have been trained not just in food preparation and making coffee but also how best support people who come in who may be vulnerable, who may need someone to talk to, or who may not know what they need.
We heard meany stories of how the Living Room has been the first step for many visitors there towards self identifying their own needs, and their own paths to happier, more fulfilling lives.
Their philosophy that what all of us need, is friends and purpose, really struck a chord with us. So much so we got Pete to work behind the tills!