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Date added: 26 March 2014

More Than Just A Cafe 

Why the Olive Tree in Cheney Manor brings a smile to all, writes Nell O'Neill
 
The Olive Tree cafe in the Cheney Manor garden centre is said to be a shop front for the charity ‘Twigs’.

Olive Tree Cafe Swindon
After working in the cafe for just a few mornings, it’s easy to see that a morning cup of tea, at the olive tree, is immensely enjoyable for anyone.

However, the cafe specialises in being a safe place for people with mental disorders to build confidence through horticulture and craft.

At the Olive Tree, everyone is welcome.

“We show appreciation to everybody, acknowledge their achievements and thank them.” says Phillida, a general manager, and an original founder of the cafe.

Whilst working at the Olive Tree, you begin to notice that the light and welcoming atmosphere brings out the best in people. Allow yourself a little luxury; sit on one of their soft, comfy sofas, surrounded by colourful craft and embroidery, and just take a glance around the cafe.
 
You might see strangers, chatting to each other across tables, carers using the cafe as a safe haven, a place to take their dependants for a day out and the elderly and members of the general public using the cafe as a place to meet.

With an atmosphere like this, it’s no wonder the cafe is run mainly by volunteers who are happy to help. On average, at the moment, the cafe has 55 volunteers and 11 part time staff.

In a speech given about the cafe, Phillida said, “There is a magic ingredient at the cafe, that we all feel about applauding success, giving encouragement, and supporting each other.”
 
Olive Tree Cafe
Manor Garden Centre
Cheney Manor
Swindon
 
Tel: 01793 533192
 
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