I first heard about St Mary’s while at Café Zero at St Bart’s church in 2019. I was in a bad way at the time, suffering with bereavement and depression, and talking to Graham from St Mary’s was very helpful.
After that I agreed to come along and help in the café kitchen, just prior to lockdown, and would do the dishes. The café and social supermarket were open throughout lockdown so I was able to come in.
I love coming here, I feel very supported, especially after my mum and dad died. The Art Group has been particularly wonderful, the consistency of coming twice a week. It feels like family.
To describe St Mary’s, I would say it is spacious and quiet, the people are loving, warm and friendly. There is lots of green space and it generally does people good.
Another reason to come is the Gardening Group. It has helped me through the grieving process, and has replaced my work in the kitchen. It is a big commitment but I really enjoy it. I used to manage a plot in Darnall and we welcomed Green Prescribing activity, we could do that here too.
The thing I like most of all about coming to St Mary’s is the friendliness.
Looking forward I would like there to be more connections between the kitchen and the garden and for a composting system to be set up to help recycle the waste. The Art Group has grown in size, and the monthly Artists Gathering on the first Tuesday of the month could be more respected and promoted.
One thing I would like to do for myself is to travel to Ireland.