Sure, Costa's in Corrie, but we're in the Create Centre

Whilst Costa have decided to open up a sponsored café on Coronation Street we took a slightly different route with our own ‘imitation café’. Ours is based at the Create centre in Hotwells, Bristol as part of the charity Lifeskills.

Lifeskills is a Safety Centre, catering for people of all ages, teaching the skills needed to live life to the full while staying safe. They currently help 12,000 year 6 pupils (10-11 year olds) annually, along with adults with learning difficulties, children with special educational needs, parents with young children and older people focussing on independent living skills, encouraging people to stay active and involved in the community.

Their unique theatrical scenarios provide a realistic learning environment, with participants making their way through the scenarios, learning and demonstrating safety skills and experiencing emergency situations. These include home-based scenarios, a road (with cars), shop, electricity substation, dark alleyway, building site and railway line amongst others. At each scenario, the participants are asked to identify the possible risks and what they would do if they were in those situations, before working in teams with the volunteer guides to come up with the safest possible options. Check out the 360 tour on their website >

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I was made aware of them by my wife who is a teacher in Bristol following a visit with her school. Once I spoke to Lifeskills and went to see the centre for myself, it was clear there was an opportunity for a café scenario, and it would add another valuable opportunity for the participants to gain experience and help build their confidence whilst having a bit of fun along the way. So we gave the space in the centre a lick of paint (Boston blue of course!) and fitted it out with some spare kit from across our cafes to create a mock BTP complete with a bar, artwork, menus, plates, and mugs – everything except food and drink.

The café scenario has been at Lifeskills for just over a year and we’re delighted to have been able to help such an incredible charity. They are totally reliant on their brilliant band of volunteer guides and financially dependent on fundraising and donations, so if you can help in any way, they (and we) would be very appreciative. Visit their website to make a donation >