All posts by Alastair Walton

Having a do for a loo!

PrintIncredibly, 2.5 billion people do not have anywhere safe, clean and hygenic to go to the loo. That’s more than a third of the people on the planet! There are four loos at Barnaby’s, so we are going to twin each of them with loos in countries like Nepal and Uganda by raising money for the fabulous toilet twinning charity

Toilet twinning is a simple and quirky way to solve a serious problem. For just £60, we’ll be able to twin one of our loos with one halfway round the world. For £240, we could even twin with a school block! We’ll end on 19th November, with half of Barnaby’s coffee & cake proceeds on the day being added to what will have been donated up to that point.

We are already off to a flying start, with enough collected on the day of the recent launch to pay for two new loos in Burundi! Find out more about what happens to your money through these wonderful videos, and make a date to pop in to Barnaby’s on Thursday 19th November.

Primary School reading initiative

images Anyone who watched the latest episode of The Apprentice will know just how vibrant the childrens book industry is. We’ve seen the effect of this from the success of our great Storytime@Barnaby’s series during the school holidays. So we were delighted to hear of the Open The Book initiative that our own Primary School is engaged in – a three year rolling programme of themed and dramatised storytelling, in partnership with The Bible Society.

“The stories actually make us laugh – and you wouldn’t have thought Bible stories were funny!” said Darcey, aged 10
“I like Open the Book because we do different things every week. I haven’t heard some of these stories before, but they are really good.” said Isabelle, aged 7.

Open the Book was launched in 1999. Since then, thousands of school children have discovered Bible stories through assemblies and collective worship. Teams of volunteers throughout the country use drama, mime, props, costume, and even school staff to present Bible stories in lively and informative ways. Want to find out more? Ask your child what they think of Open The Book, or watch this great video on the Bible Society website.

Food bloggers visit Barnaby’s

DSC_0227 Last month, we were visited by committed foodies, a fabulous blog run by Alison and her daughter Helen. Both of them share a passion for food and travel, beautifully embodied in their very engaging strapline “Living life. Loving cake.”  We rather like that!

Alison and Helens’ exploits are currently followed by over 1,000 people on Facebook and Twitter, so we were delighted to welcome them to Barnaby’s. Of her visit, Alison said, “Barnaby’s had a really lovely community feel. How lovely to be a part of it, knowing everyone and having a chance to natter over coffee and cake.” In fact, the chocolate cake (pictured) really got Alisons attention, so she had a slice. See what she thought about it on her own website, as well as on her Twitter feed .

Like her Facebook page to see more blogs about great food destinations in Hampshire, or to receive her Friday roundup called “This week’s sweet treats!”

Are you sitting comfortably?

IMG_2448 Our final event for this Autumn half-term was Childrens Storytime @ Barnaby’s, held on Thursday morning. It was another great opportunity for worn-out mums to come and enjoy a moment of tranquility (and a nice coffee) while we entertained their children!

This week, a dozen excited children joined us at Barnaby’s. The wonderful Fiona Noble read from “Room On The Broom” by Julia Donaldson, and a number of childrens favourites that she had specially selected. Julia Donaldson is a past Children’s Laureate, and is best known for her popular rhyming stories such as “The Gruffalo” and “Stick Man“. If your children enjoyed what they heard, find out more about Julia here.

And the winners are…

IMG_1698Earlier today, Barnaby’s was filled with excited children enjoying our Cuppa & Colour afternoon, while exhausted half-term parents relaxed with a delicious coffee and free wifi. This was the fifth time we have hosted Cuppa & Colour, making it a popular feature in the Barnaby’s calendar.

Our eager artists ranged from 18 months to 70 years old (hello Bill!) Each were tasked with designing and colouring a Halloween pumpkin. Congratulations to all of those who drew, scribbled, thought, drew again, and then stood proudly with their amazing creations. Well done!

1st – Freya
2nd – Evie
3rd – Amelia

Special commendation goes to Victoria for an impressive use of the Barnaby’s logo in her drawing, which will be displayed with everyones elses work in Barnaby’s this week. There are a few photos live here on Facebook.

Coming up on Thursday morning, it is a return to Childrens Storytime @ Barnaby’s. Join Fiona Noble as she reads from a selection of favourite childrens stories. Full details can be found on this link.

Half-term fun at Barnaby’s

Happy kids laying on the floor holding books - the colorful world of readingHalf-term is coming! No doubt, you will already be wondering how you can keep your kids occupied, whilst trying to preserve your sanity and a  full-time job. Barnaby’s might not be able to solve all of those for you, but we can help! After successfully trialing two events in the summer, we are pleased to bring them both back for this coming half-term:

Cuppa & Colour afternoon
Tuesday 27th October at 2pm
It’s a welcome half-term return for our fabulous colouring competition. Here is your chance to take a well-earned break while your little ones get stuck in to a bit of colouring. There will be prizes for the best junior artists, whose work will then appear on the big screen! More information on our Facebook page. No need to book – just turn up, unless you particularly want to let us know here that you are coming.

Storytime @ Barnaby’s
Thursday 29th October at 10am
Everyone loves a good story, so come along to Barnaby’s on Thursday morning to hear a few childrens favourites, while you enjoy delicious coffee and free wifi! The lovely Fiona Noble will be our reader. Again no need to book – just turn up, or let us know here that you are coming.

What’s in the jar?

St G LogoNext to the till in Barnaby’s Coffee Shop is a little glass jar. Every day, people drop money in to that little glass jar – change from their coffee perhaps, or a few loose coins from their purse. Some people have asked where that money goes, and the answer is the St.George Foundation.

Swanmore is very closely aligned to the St. George Foundation, established as it was by Phillip Dean of the St.Barnabas congregation. The foundation is also the nominated charity of the Swanmore Primary School. The contents of that little glass jar came to £175:80 when we counted it out a few days ago, which has all gone to the work of the foundation in Sierra Leone.

The St. George Foundation helps orphans in Western Rural – the area immediately on the outskirts of Freetown in Sierra Leone. Since it was launched, the foundation has taken 360 orphans into residential care, arranged foster care for 140 others, and handed emergency packs to a further 300 in the community. With your support, the long road to recovery for these orphans is significantly reduced, for which we thank you. Click here to find out more about the St. George Foundation, or just keep popping money in the jar.

One year on, Barnaby’s celebrates in style

IMG_3858One year ago, there was a new word on everyones lips in the Meon Valley. That word was Barnaby’s. Born from an initiative of the Portsmouth Diocese to help village churches find vibrant ways to maximise their use of the buildings they occupy, a volunteer team set to work on what was known as The Old School Room to create a vibrant community coffee shop.

So on Saturday, Barnaby’s volunteers, partners, friends and customers came together to celebrate the end of an incredible first year. Yet again, the place was full from the moment to the doors opened until well after they were supposed to be closed! There were balloons, party poppers, bucks fizz, singing, and rather a lot of cake. Head over to our Facebook page for some fabulous images of a truly great moment for this vibrant addition to Swanmore life.

IMG_3842As a community project, Barnaby’s success is entirely built on the generosity of some wonderful people. If you were involved in the original planning, or if you helped paint a wall, or if you learned how to use a coffee machine for the first time, or if you bake a cake every week, or if you just come in to enjoy a coffee and some free wifi, you make Barnaby’s what it is. Thank you.

We’re back open on Tuesday at 2pm. See you then!

Time for tea

London-Tea-Company-green-tea-mango-ginger_0Your favourite coffee shop now serves tea too! Come and enjoy a wonderful infusion from the London Tea Company, specialists blends that run from full-bodied to beautifully subtle. There are classics such as London Breakfast and Earl Grey, along with the more unusual Raspberry Inferno and Zingy Lemon & Ginger!

As part of their committment to Fairtrade, the London Tea Company help to support growers and surrounding communities by paying a guaranteed minimum price for their crop. Find out more here.

One of the Barnaby’s volunteers has already tasted most of our new infusions, and voted Peach & Rhubhard as her favourite! Pop in to Barnaby’s today, and discover yours…

You are invited to…

annualCan you believe it is already Barnaby’s 1st birthday? It hardly seems like yesterday when we opened the doors for the first time, and now Barnaby’s is a thriving & vibrant part of village life.

Help us celebrate this Saturday, when there will be plenty going on at your favourite coffee shop. Doors are open from 1000 to 1300. We promise there will be cake, balloons, the odd party popper and maybe even a glass of something sparkly!

Coming? Then head over to our events page and let us know. We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!