Aylesham Community Tea Room

Through their own fundraising and a grant from The Port of Dover the Roses Tearoom and Thrift Shop, located in Milner Crescent is now open Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings, with the shop selling a range of good quality, second hand clothes, books and household items.

Aylesham Tea Room1 Aylesham Tea Room2

The Need:

Aylesham Community Tearoom was originally set up in 2014 as a result of Age Concern taking the decision to close their charity shop and tearoom in the village. At the time, the manager of the shop, Mandy Mills, and the volunteers who worked there felt there was still a sufficient demand for this service to be continued. 

Initially, premises were rented next door to the existing shop and the tearoom was opened twice a week using the local church hall, with between 20 and 80 attending on a regular basis. Since then they earned and raised £47,000 through fundraising and income generated to build the new premises.

The Difference Made:

The tearoom and shop offers valuable opportunities to volunteer and learn new skills in an area of high deprivation and unemployment numbers. This will provide the chance for those seeking employment to obtain further employability skills such as health and safety training and hygiene courses.

Mandy Mills comments:

“This has been a fantastic community effort and all of the volunteers have worked incredibly hard to ensure this vision became a reality. We are completely volunteer- led and are working with organisations such as Bechange to provide volunteering opportunities at the shop. Having the tea room and shop benefits the whole community on so many different levels; providing a comfortable space for people to gather and socialise, a shop selling useful items at affordable prices and the opportunity to volunteer and gain new skills to help gain future employment.”

The latest news about the project can be found on Facebook.