The Dream Café, which is a branch of Connect Ministries at Green Pastures Church, Ballymena, opened it’s doors in September 2021.
Its welcoming doors are open to everyone on Monday between 11am-2pm and 7pm-9pm and again on Wednesday from 11am-2pm.
As well as a delicious selection of food, cakes, and coffee, ‘customers’ at this ‘donation only’ outreach can enjoy a game of snooker, darts or table tennis. They may also access the Foodbank or Clothing Bank.
Pastor Karen Kernohan told The Church Page: “Dream Café is run by Kerri McDowell and her team of helpers. Kerri’s husband Will runs the foodbank while Richard Hastings and Peter Dickey host and look after everyone on the floor. There are a few others who just have a heart to help and are here to offer a chat and a listening ear.”
Karen went on to say that: “We get referrals from frontline services for people who are in need, maybe the need is for emergency food parcels. What we have been able to say is stay and have a coffee or a hot meal and enjoy the different activities that are going on.
“Sometimes, we have manicures and there’s toys for kids and what happens is people begin to hang about and you build a relationship. I think that post-COVID there are a lot of people who are lonely, disconnected and need a bit of friendship. Being able to sit with somebody over a cup of coffee makes a difference to them.
“Some of the feedback we have had has told us that people feel safe here. Everything we serve from the food to the coffee is quality and I am very fussy about my coffee. Anyone is welcome to call in”, she says.
Everyone at The Dream Café is looking forward to their Christmas Dinner on 14th December 2021 when Montgomery’s Outside Catering will be cooking a beautiful meal. There will also be a Table Quiz and live entertainment from a visiting orchestra.
“We are going to have a celebration in the middle of what has been a tough couple of years – it will be something special”, Karen promises.
Find out more about any aspect of Connect Ministries at Green Pastures Church, Ballymena, on their Facebook page.