Volunteers re-launch cafe

Volunteers at West Wemyss Community Cafe - Tom Moffet , Nancy Todd, Mary Birrell , Anita Dryburgh, Alan Dryburgh and Steven Patterson
Volunteers at West Wemyss Community Cafe - Tom Moffet , Nancy Todd, Mary Birrell , Anita Dryburgh, Alan Dryburgh and Steven Patterson

A team of dedicated volunteers has helped to re-launch the former West Wemyss Walk Inn as a community cafe space.

The 12 volunteers are all giving their time to keep the cafe open to the public five days a week, and have already seen great success in the last few weeks.

Following the closure of the Walk Inn as a commerical enterprise in March, a new cafe committee was set up, with a constitution and bank account, and all profits after running costs are fed right back in to the community for the benefit of the villagers, and to provide local events such as pensioners lunches and children’s acitvities.

Anita Dryburgh, volunteer co-ordinator, has been involved with the cafe since it opened as part of the Walk Inn in 2011.

Born and bred in West Wemyss, she was determined not to see it disappear after the collapse of the business two months ago.

“When it became clear the cafe couldn’t continue as it was, we were determined to keep something going in the village for visitors and residents,” she said.

“The cafe has been a real lifeline for the more isolated residents and is a great place for everyone to come for a cuppa, a cake and a chat.”

The cafe offers a simple menu and because it is run entirely by volunteers, all of the money made can be ploughed right back into making it even better.

After just a few weeks, they’ve even been able to buy a brand new cooker.

Aileen Aitken, community development co-ordinator for the village, said: “It is great that local people have come forward to volunteer their time and energy to keep the cafe going and operating for the community and visitors - so far 12 volunteers are taking a turn in the cafe and learning new skills along the way.

“The cafe is doing well thanks to all the hard work and commitment of the volunteers and hopefully will go from strength to strength, but new volunteers are needed as the cafe would like to extend its opening hours for the summer season.”

If you would be interested in volunteering, please contact Anita at dryburgh@hotmail.com.

As well as the new West Wemyss Community Cafe, a committee has also been set up to create a new pub for the village. Work has already started in the building, and it is hoped it will be open to the public within the next few weeks.

Next door to the pub and cafe, the West Wemyss Heritage Centre remains open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12.00 - 4.00p.m. Run by local man Tom Moffet, the centre opened last year and welcomes on average 25 people per day.

If there are any groups interested in visiting either the cafe or the heritage centre on days which they are not usually open, both Tom and Anita are willing to open the doors - just get in contact to organise a visit. Visit www.facebook.com/West-Wemyss-Community-Cafe for more.

The cafe space can also be rented out on Mondays and Tuesdays for events such as community meetings, training sessions or art activities.