Cafés are a shared space and the idea of this project was to stregnthen the links between people doing civic service from Unis-Cité with people from Emmaus as well as customers and donors.
The café is a space to talk about our values, struggles and initatives whilst enjoying spending some time together. Showing that by re-using objects we can create pleasant, tasteful spaces for exchanges and meetings.
Showing that exchange and togetherness are important in our sales areas: taking the time to talk to one another is key. Tiffen, Julie, Marion and Vidura are the 'spring chickens’ of Emmaus Toulouse!
They are involved in various awareness-raising initiatives alongside the association MediaTerre and have been with us since October. This civic service group from Unis-Cité has helped us form new relationships. They firstly got involved in our sorting and sales activities and then the idea came to set up a social area at our Labarthe-sur-Lèze site.
Near the entrance to the sales area a few palettes, spare wood and imagination were all that was required to create a café, our tea 'Saloon'. Home-made cakes, organic juice and sustainable tea and coffee help make this a real place of exchange.
Tony, Paulo and Christian, companions in Labarthe-sur-Lèze, helped build this space using the materials collected by the community. The second life given to these objects is rather unique. Concerts, story-telling and social events are organised to bring people together to talk about Emmaus' work, with a cup or a plate of local produce in hand of course.
Inspired by Westerns with its wooden furniture this tea salon really does make you think of a saloon, if you don’t believe us come and see it for yourselves...
Creating the Tea Saloon, a space for exchange...
3 companions, 3 employees, 4 people doing civic service and many more!
Unis-Cité (The Spring Chickens)
First of all we had to decide where to put it!
Paint, wooden floor and some decorative accessories were gradually added to help create some atmosphere.
With sweat and a smile we were able to brighten up the sales area in Emmaus Labarthe-sur-Lèze.
Given that the duration of civic service assignments is 9 months and the team will be leaving soon we need to find volunteers or companions to man the café. We must strengthen our cultural initatives, create a buzz about the Saloon and ensure that these exchanges between people continue on a daily basis in order to guarantee the future of this space.
The arrival of a team of young people doing civic service has helped create new bonds and new discussions, the saloon is a new and different setting for exchange in our community. For some of our companions the café represented an opportunity to use their know-how and their skills to create a social space and to do so using objects collected by our community. This café is another way of promoting our re-use activities in an environmentally-friendly setting.