‘Gone to the dogs‘ is a small cafe with some very big ideas. Just like any other cafe you can go there for a cuppa or a bite to eat, you can even bring your dog inside. But that’s not all you can do. You can take part in the cafe’s ‘Pay it forward’ scheme as well.
When you pay for your food you have the option to overpay and if you do something truly wonderful happens. The cashier taking your money writes the excess amount on a post it note that’s kept behind the counter. It’s a bit like a token for food or a cup of tea that homeless or otherwise disadvantaged citizens can redeem for food.
Not only that, the cafe offers people a chance to launder their clothes, to meet and socialise, to get involved in community projects and also provides advice and advocacy where possible. They’ve even been instrumental in finding homes for people.
I met Paul, the inspiration behind the cafe last Sunday. The cafe was bursting with people, some homeless, some clearly not and all enjoying good food, a cup of tea and a community atmosphere of the kind I haven’t seen for years.