It’s a great joy to be able to support charities and non-profit making organisations through the Wokingham Word. I always include as many stories and events as I can reasonably fit within its pages, and I know so many organisations absolutely depend on this FREE and far-reaching publicity. Please get in touch if I can help your organisation.

Every year, I choose one such organisation to support with extra publicity and my own fundraising efforts.

This year’s Chosen Charity is Kimelcafe

The Kimelcafe opened its doors in February 2022 and has become a wonderful asset to the Wokingham community.

Local residents and friends of the Wokingham Word, Nic and Rachel Lander set up the cafe to provide supported employment for neurodiverse young people. There is a huge gap between the employability of, for example, autistic young adults, and actual employment levels. ONS statistics show that 16% of autistic adults are in full-time paid employment. The vast majority of the remaining 84% want employment. So there is real value in giving these young people experience in a work setting, to build their confidence and prove their employability.

At the Kimelcafe, young people work alongside team members during their shift, and therefore receive one-to-one support whilst gaining practical experience of being in employment. There are opportunities to serve customers, bake cakes and prepare lunches, help with ordering and maintenance – all in a safe and supportive environment.

But make no mistake … there is no compromise on the quality of the food and drinks served at the Kimelcafe. Nic has custom-blended a unique coffee that locals (my own family included) RAVE about. And Rachel has discovered a flair for baking that is second to none – indulgent cakes, cookies and brownies are served alongside seasonal specials. Pop in for toasties, smoothies, or “guest specialities” such as authentic Turkish and Indian treats – you won’t be disappointed.

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Wokingham Festival Fundraiser

Our main fundraiser this year was at the wonderful Wokingham Festival over August bank holiday weekend. The sun shone on the happiest of local events attended by several thousand residents who enjoyed non-stop music and entertainment. They also enjoyed our fantastic Brownie Bar, thanks to the non-stop baking of Rachel, and a small army of volunteers manning the Wokingham Word stall. Along with a fantastic Raffle and Guess the Sweeties we raised a brilliant £1,205 for the cafe!

This money will be used towards upgrading the existing oven to something larger (more cakes, yay!) and towards employing a professional mentor who can coach and support the young people through their time at the cafe, and on to other employment.