Carna’s recently launched Community Cafe has donated €1,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Appeal thanks to the village’s love of tea, cake, and a good old chat.
The brainchild of a group of sea-swimming enthusiasts living in the area, the weekly café started just before Easter as a way to help people begin socialising again after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.
Looking to simply cover costs – with the café’s bakers and servers all volunteering, and charging just a euro for a cup of tea or a piece of cake – the team decided any excess income would be donated to charity.
Little did they know that just five weeks later they would be passing on €1,000 to the Red Cross.
“The aim initially wasn’t to raise money at all, we just wanted to provide a friendly, welcoming and affordable place where people could come and have a chat and see each other again,” said Máirín Ní Churraoin who runs the local Post Office.
“But it’s been proving more popular than we could have imagined, so we decided that any income generated has to go to a good cause – for this first donation we all felt the Red Cross Ukraine appeal was an obvious choice.”
The Ukraine appeal is even more fitting given the location of the Café: the dining room of the Carna Bay Hotel, which is currently providing accommodation to people who have fled the conflict.
“We’re delighted to be able to support this fantastic initiative, it’s just brilliant to see people coming out and socialising over a bit of cake again,” said Karl Rogers from the Carna Bay Hotel.
“And with the tea, musicians and chat, it’s a great way for our guests from Ukraine to meet local people and experience Irish culture first-hand.”
At the most recent event on Saturday May 7, Irish Red Cross Conamara Area Director, Niall O’Meachair was on hand to collect a cheque for €1,000.
“We’re absolutely delighted to receive this money from the Community Café in Carna, and through the work of the Red Cross we’ll make sure it goes to helping people affected by this awful, awful conflict.”
The Community Café is held every Saturday in the Carna Bay Hotel, 10am-12:30pm.