NeighbourGood Café is opening its doors on Thursday 30th June until Saturday 2nd July, bringing neighbours (and dogs) together to reignite the community spirit that blossomed over lockdown. Brought to you by home security company, Ring, customers can ‘pay’ for food and drink with a simple pledge of a good ‘neighbourly’ deed. The café, based in Hackney, will encourage people to connect within the local community, try locally-sourced goods and learn more about the amazing people living in the area.
The limited-edition café arrives after research conducted by Ring of 2,000 adults revealed one fifth (20%) of Brits see their local café as one of the most important areas of their community. Of those, over half (52%) think cafés are important as these offer a friendly community vibe, while 32% would like to meet new people and neighbours at local cafés.
From helping an elderly neighbour with their shopping to walking someone else’s dog, neighbours coming together were a big part of lockdown for many. In fact, Ring’s research revealed a quarter (25%) of people became friendlier to their neighbours during the pandemic, with over one third (36%) saying their neighbourly spirit improved since lockdown restrictions were lifted.
The new NeighbourGood Café aims to keep these spirits high, with visitors encouraged to write down and pin their good deed to a dedicated ‘pledge board’ across the following categories:
Good SKILLS: e.g helping fix a fence or replant a community garden
Good MINUTES: e.g offering to dog sit for a neighbour
Good ENERGY: e.g. introducing yourself to a new neighbour
Good BUSINESS: e.g. pledging to support a local business or charity
In addition to the pledges, the café will shine a spotlight on those who have contributed positively to the local community throughout the pandemic and last few years. Some local heroes** in the area include: Mark Maciver from SliderCuts Barbers, who runs a young people’s work scheme offering free guidance and mentorship for 13-16 year olds, and Michelle Dornelly, CEO of local charity Children with Voices, who distributed over 1,000 free meals throughout the pandemic to vulnerable residents.
The NeighbourGood Café is also offering a locally-sourced menu designed specifically using survey* results of local Hackney residents’ favourite snacks and drinks. Brownies came up on top (35%) of the poll, followed by chocolate cake (22%), pain au chocolat (19%), and cinnamon buns (18%). To wash it all down, customers can choose from coffee, which was voted the drink of choice (42%), followed by hot chocolate (39%), tea (30%), and a selection of fruit juices (30%).
To inspire the nation to get involved and make their own good deed pledges, Ring partnered with singer and TV/Radio presenter, Fleur East. Growing up in Walthamstow in North -East London, Fleur understands first-hand how important communities can be for individuals growing up and fully supports the mission of the NeighbourGood Café.
Fleur East, singer and TV/Radio presenter, said: “Ring’s NeighbourGood Café is a unique way to encourage people to do a good deed and give back to their community – especially as small and simple acts of kindness can have a big impact on someone’s life. The community of neighbours and friends I had growing up in Walthamstow was incredible, and it’s this network of support and understanding that saw me through both good and difficult times. If the past few years has taught us anything, it’s that we all thrive when we come together and support each other.”
Dave Ward, Managing Director for UK & Europe at Ring, said: “NeighbourGood Café is about more than just grabbing a quick coffee – it’s about bringing communities together. We saw incredible community spirit during the challenges of lockdown, like neighbours helping each other with their shopping, sharing essentials or even baking cakes for one another. I’ve personally experienced how empowering it can feel to build strong relationships with those living around you, and we hope NeighbourGood Café can go some way towards celebrating this community spirit.”
Ring’s NeighbourGood Café can be found at 12 Sidworth Street, E8 3SD. Doors open from Thursday 30th June at 12.30pm, and will be open from 8:00am-4pm daily until Saturday 2nd July. No booking is required and dogs are of course welcome! Visitors can discover more at www.ring.com/neighbourgoodcafe.