A popular Ribbleton cafe under threat of closure has become the subject of a huge community fundraising effort.Advertisement
Top Cafe is known in Preston for its work in fighting child hunger by providing free breakfasts.
The cafe announced the planned closure on its Facebook page on 30 April, citing business difficulties.
The Preston Restaurant and Take Out Reviews Facebook page saw the news and decided to step in to help.
In a post on the page, admin Pelé Duncan said: “As many of you will have seen, Top Cafe have had to close this week completely against their will! We as a community would like to help them just like they have helped the 100s of families that are less privileged than others. After speaking with the staff its only right we come together to help one of our own!”
The group subsequently set up a raffle, asking local businesses to donate prizes. Within the past week they have amassed over 90 donated prizes, and raised £3,000 from raffle ticket sales.
Prizes include a bottle of Prosecco from Lime Lounge, a free gutter clean from JP Cleaning Services, and any pizza, kebab or curry from Mick’s Hut.
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Top Cafe owner Helen Ball said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed with the support we have received.
“We don’t want to give up on our beloved cafe – yes it’s a business but to us it’s so much more! Our customers are now friends, and it’s a safe haven for some.
“I could give up right now, but answering calls from our community saying ‘please Helen don’t give up on us’ pulls my heartstrings, and I promise I won’t.”
The raffle will close at 9pm on Saturday 9 May, with the draw being done later in the day.
In a further post, Pelé said: “To confirm, 100 per cent of the funds will all go to Top Cafe and anything left over from what they need both Helen and I will work together to help other charities or people in need through Top Cafe when it has reopened.”
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To find out more and buy a raffle ticket, visit the Preston Restaurant and Take Out Reviews Facebook page. A Save Top Cafe GoFundMe page has also been created.
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Are you a customer at Top Cafe? Will you be buying a raffle ticket? Let us know in the comments.