Help for families on cafe menu

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Karen MacNamara, one of the Caterpillar Cafe founders, at the pay what you like stall. Photo submitted.

FAMILIES in Stratford are being offered a helping hand with free children’s birthday parties, a ‘pay what you like’ stall and a regular place to relax and socialise.

Caterpillar Café is a dedicated family café offering a safe and stimulating place for children to play and explore and their grown-ups to relax and socialise.

It is open every Friday from 10am to 2pm at Tyler House Hub and offers a range of snacks, drinks and healthy lunches, as well as regular events including a sensory corner, with sensory toys, relaxing music and baby reflexology classes, visits from local child centred organisations and demonstration classes.

This year the cafe also launched a number of community initiatives including offering free birthday parties for children from families who, for whatever reason, are unable to hold one themselves.

“We want to offer this to families so they can enjoy a special birthday without worrying about the price or stressing about organising it,” say Emma Gurdag and Karen MacNamara, founders of Caterpillar Café.

A ‘pay what you like’ stall has also been launched at the café. Items are for sale with no price tag, although donations are welcome and go towards providing the free parties.

Food has been donated from the Tesco Community Food Connection and clothes, toys and other items have been donated by local families, businesses and makers. Any left over food from the stall is being offered as food parcels for local families.

Any family can visit the stall during opening hours and they do not have to pay to enter the café to have a browse.

To be eligible for a food parcel or a free party, families must be referred to the cafe via a support organisation, for instance their school, children’s centre or social services.

If any organisations would like to act as referees or if any families want to find out more, they can contact the cafe at caterpillarcafe@hotmail.com.