Issued: 7 March 2018
Lancaster residents can now help a veteran by enjoying a cuppa. Sharpe’s Café was officially opened on 5 March by Lady Jane Grosvenor and Phil Waterhouse, Commodore Royal Navy, Naval Regional Commander Northern England and Isle of Man. The café is run by FirstLight Trust, a charity helping former members of the armed forces and emergency services adjust to civilian life. With delicious home-made cakes and coffees, Sharpe’s is a welcoming spot for the public and veterans of any rank or age.
“Many ex-military can feel socially isolated, even lonely,” says Dorinda Wolfe Murray of FirstLight Trust. “So we run hubs with fantastic Sharpe’s coffee bars creating a friendly drop-in for veterans and civilians alike. Every penny raised helps our work in giving back veterans a sense of value and belonging.”
Sharpe’s Café on Market Street is named after the Rifleman played on TV by Sean Bean. It offers a range of coffee roasts from the Baytown Coffee Company, specialist Tea Pig blends and delicious treats from traybakes to cakes. The charity plan to use the café as a base from which to run modules to help struggling ex-military and blue light veterans get back on their feet.
ABF The Soldiers Charity has provided funds for a support worker to help veterans. Vital donations towards renovations came from The Dowager Countess Eleanor Peel Trust, Anne Duchess Of Westminster’s Charity, Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and Westminster Foundation. Other donors include the Screwfix Foundation and Harold and Alice Bridges Charity.
“We’re overwhelmed by the positive response of the charitable and veteran organisations who came to the opening,” adds Dorinda. “One called it ‘an amazing, calming space’ and another loved the coffee. We’re open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm. Our motto is ‘Have a cake, help a veteran’ and we encourage as many Lancastrians as possible to pop in!”
Sharpe’s Café can be found at 63 – 65 Market Street Lancaster LA1 1JG. It’s open Monday – Saturday 9am – 5pm.