AN open door cafe which began as an 'experiment' has won the hearts and minds of the people of Warndon says the councillor who set it up.

The Open Door Café at St Wulstan’s Church in Cranham Drive, Warndon, has been running since October 1 last year as an experiment but it has continued to evolve to meet the needs of the community.

The initiative began life offering free brunch as a 12 week experiment. Following its success, the cafe became Saturday Soup over the winter and then Saturday Sandwich in the spring.

It was established by councillor Jill Desayrah who represents Warndon on behalf of the Labour Party, partially to provide support to people who may be struggling during the cost of living crisis but also, more generally, as a place for people of all ages to meet and make friends. 

READ MORE: Warndon free open door cafe goes from strength to strength

Now it runs a flexible menu, details of which, including some recipes, can be found on Councillor Desayrah’s community Facebook page - “desayrahwarndon”.

Last Saturday there were hot dogs, fruit skewers, homemade cakes and ice cream, all provided free to those who use the service.

Strawberry, salted caramel and chocolate hazelnut-flavoured ice cream proved popular with the crowd.

Among them was the most senior regular, Joan Baldwin of Painswick Close, Warndon.

She turned 94 years old the previous day and enjoyed the lunch including her particular favourite Jamaica Ginger Cake.

Cllr Jill Desayrah runs the cafe in partnership with St Wulstan’s church, Oasis Hub and various sponsors. She said: “The Open Door Café continues to be a joy.

"The local community comes together to enjoy good company, food and laughter.

"Additional sponsorship will soon be sought, and I hope that each of my very general sponsors will be able to maintain their help, so that we can carry on well into the future”.

The Open Door Cafe welcomes everyone and will operate every Saturday from noon until 1.30pm until July 22.

It will be closed for the summer from then, but will reopen on September 9 and run through until December 9, serving appropriately seasonal food.