Barry café is supporting mental health this winter with a festive afternoon tea

The Well-Bean Café is offering an afternoon tea with a Christmas touch to counter wellbeing struggles such as loneliness

The café is putting on a cream tea at an affordable price to encourage people to come and speak to volunteers (Photo credit: Tenielle Jordison)

A café in Barry is offering a festive afternoon tea throughout December to support people’s mental health through a catch-up and a hot drink.

The Well-Bean Café is in an assisted living block and is open to both residents and the public. The festive teas are available until 18 December.

Helen Payne, 57, and Pierre Codron, 48, are the co-directors of the organisation which owns the café, called Cardiff and the Vale Wellbeing. The pair opened the café in 2020 to provide easy access to mental health support in a relaxed setting.

“The idea was always to be an informal and comfortable space to access mental health services,” said Pierre. “Everybody that comes in says they feel comfortable and welcome,” added Helen.

The winter season often impacts people’s mental health, especially those who live alone and face loneliness. Age UK reported around six million elderly people felt lonely in the UK in the weeks before Christmas last year.

The café aims to combat loneliness and social isolation by encouraging guests to come for a barista-made coffee and a chat. “It’s about making a connection,” explained Helen.

The afternoon tea includes a range of sandwiches and sweet treats (Photo credit: Tenielle Jordison)

Pierre shared that the afternoon tea was an idea of the volunteers who run the café. They even curated the menu, which includes sandwiches with festive fillings such as brie and cranberry.

The seasonal spread is completely vegetarian and has classic elements like scones as well as Christmas treats like mince pies, ‘snowy brownies,’ and gingerbread biscuits.

This is just one of the events the café is holding this winter to support people’s mental wellbeing. On 21 December the team will celebrate the Winter Solstice, an event which had a medieval food theme last year.

The afternoon tea is priced at £10 to be as affordable as possible for anybody in need of some festive cheer and wellbeing support.

Helen described it as, “Simply an afternoon tea and a natter, a chance to get together.”