Nicola Sturgeon drops in for a spot of tea and music at Woodlands community cafe

By Ellen Thomson at

A special guest has dropped in on birthday celebrations in the West End.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon help Woodlands’ free community cafe mark a milestone.

It is four years since the community resource opened in which time it has served more 12,000 meals.

Woodlands Community Garden cafe

Birthday: First minister gets in to the swing of things during her visit

On Monday, more than 90 people sat down to share in a three-course festive feast prepared by staff and volunteers from Woodlands Community Development Trust.

The weekly community café is a project that grew out of Woodlands Community Garden.

The busy kitchen is based at the Fred Paton Centre on Carrington Street.

Ms Sturgeon spent over an hour at the café chatting to staff, volunteers and users.

She said: “I’d like to congratulate the Woodlands Community Cafe on their fourth birthday.

“The work being undertaken here is a fantastic example of communities acting together for the benefit of them all.

“We know the positive impact on people’s health that freshly prepared, healthy food can have.

“To be not only providing these meals, but also growing produce and teaching the cookery skills to enable members of the community to provide them for themselves and their families, is a tremendous service.

Woodlands Community Cafe

Help: the cafe has provided more than 12,000 meals in four years

“Equally important though, is providing a place for members of the community to meet and engage with each other, sharing a meal and conversation.

“Many people, especially the elderly, may suffer from loneliness and isolation that can affect both mental and physical wellbeing.

“Projects such as this one play a valuable role in benefitting the local community in so many ways.

“I wish them all the best for the next four years and beyond.”

Tim Cowen, Manager for Woodlands Community Development Trust added: “Woodlands Community Café offers a fresh approach to supporting people in need, that centres around a shared community meal.

“What makes the café so special is the quality of our food, the quality of our welcome and how people from so many different backgrounds are coming together to support one another.”