Creative Cafe users are appealing to get more funding

PUBLISHED: 18:30 16 January 2017

Effy and Donna Tsoukalas with volunteers, Denise Lewis, Sadia Ur-Rehman and Shazia Ur-Rehman

Effy and Donna Tsoukalas with volunteers, Denise Lewis, Sadia Ur-Rehman and Shazia Ur-Rehman


Concerned residents are urging local businesses to come forward and help fund a community project.

The Creative Cafe is about to lose it's funding.The Creative Cafe is about to lose it's funding.

The community project, Creative Cafe, which has been running regular craft workshops, twice a week for the last two years, is set to close at the end of the month.

The funding is due expire and they’re struggling to find a solution to keep their doors open at the Marks Gate Community Centre, in Rose Lane, Dagenham.

Donna Tsoukalas, who lives in Grantham Gardens, Dagenham says the crafts workshops gave her a “lifeline” and boosted her social life.

“It’s been a big part of our lives - we escaped domestic violence in Corfu back in 2013 and started coming here in 2015, so it’s been a real life line for me.

“If it wasn’t for this place, we would have been absolutely isolated and I think a lot of older people would be too, as they probably don’t talk to anyone until they come here.”

The single mum, who home educates her four-year-old daughter, Effy, believes the class is “welcoming” and have helped “improve” her behavioral issues since they started coming.

“The fact that she was accepted by everyone, she could still have outbursts and we could come back, wherever a lot of other place I have felt we couldn’t go back too after that.

“It’s a lovely social, especially for her and it also helps me.

“It gets me out of the house and speaking to other mums.” Donna explained.

While, Sadia Ur-Rehman, who is behind the whole Creative Cafe project added: “It’s actually quiet devastating because it has become a real hub for the community.

“Not just for families and children either, it’s for older people as well.

“Anyone who is willing to help and sponsor us please do - it’s much needed for residents from Marks Gate and Chadwell Heath that has been proven because we’re really popular.”

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