THE team behind Drumchapel’s new warm café have told of their mission to create a safe space run for and by the community.

Drumchapel’s Warm Welcome Café (DWWC) officially opened four weeks ago and is based at Drumchapel St Andrew’s Church on Garscadden Road.

The café offers people a warm, chilled environment to sit quietly or have a blether as well as enjoy a selection of soups, rolls, scones, fruit, and hot drinks free of charge.

Clydebank Post: The cafe is based in St Andrew's Church, Drumchapel The cafe is based in St Andrew's Church, Drumchapel (Image: Newsquest Staff)Jan Smillie, one of the café’s organisers, explained that the goal of the space is not only to provide warmth and food but also to create human connections.

She said: “We had an overall awareness of how difficult life can be for all of us whether that be the cost-of-living crisis or something else.

“Looking wider we also were aware of the loneliness that people can feel especially through the Scottish winter.

“This is what led us to think that maybe we could open up this amazing space because it’s so warm and welcoming for the whole community to come and use.

“We want to welcome people and offer them free food but also we wanted to create a sense of connection.

“This space is for anyone of any age and background to sit and feel comfortable, meet people, make new friends, and come back each week, experiencing a sense of belonging.

“It can be difficult sometimes to look after ourselves especially when it’s cold and dark. We’re completely aware that our mental health is really helped by eating well and having connections so the café offers both of these things.”

In its first week, DWWC saw more than 30 people come through its doors, this then increased to 52 in its second week.

The café, which is run entirely by volunteers from Drumchapel and funded by the Benefact Trust, is currently open every Tuesday between 11am and 2pm however Jan revealed that there are plans to eventually expand its opening hours to meet the needs of the community.Clydebank Post: A selection of what is on offerA selection of what is on offer (Image: Newsquest Staff) Attendees have also been providing vital feedback to the team who regularly meet to discuss ways to improve the running of the space such as undertaking mental health training.

Gillian Hay, one of the other organisers of DWWC, said that despite being based in the church the café is not a church-based project and is separate from it.

She said: “This is for the community of Drumchapel. It’s the church building offering a community space for everybody within the community.

“We’ve seen people of all ages come along right from babies to those in their 90s. The age range has been huge.

“It’s a relaxed atmosphere. If you want to have one coffee fair enough and if you want to have ten coffees that’s fine too, you can have as many as you want. There isn’t a ‘you’re only getting one soup’ kind of thing.

“If you want two soups, two rolls, and three scones that’s absolutely fine, there’s no limit. People have commented on that and said it’s nice that if they’re still hungry they’re able to get a little bit more.

“The café is also accessible as there’s a ramp into the building and down to the toilets plus there’s plenty of space.”

Jan added: “I think it’s really important that we stress what Gillian mentioned that it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got an interest in religion or faith because it doesn’t matter who you are, all of us are part of the same community.

“I’ve done some on-the-street canvassing at the station, the shopping centre, and community centre and I have a list of all the organisations I’ve visited within Drumchapel.

“I’ve reached out to them and we’re hoping as the weeks and months go on we will be able to work collaboratively with these groups and individuals.

“At the moment we’ve just tentatively started to look at food banks as well. It’s important to us to be an information hub as well as gently signposting people without any stigma.

“This is a confidential and non-judgemental space but you don’t always have to give answers or signpost, sometimes people just need someone to listen to them.

“We’re not professionals in any way at running a café but we’re very happy to help where we can.”