WORKERS at a Penistone cafe have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for their community spirit in supporting local artists and residents across the borough.

Staff at BARiSTA and Cucina, based on Market Street, have been praised throughout lockdown for using their cafe as a community hub during the pandemic.

Throughout the year, the cafe, owned by Matthew Crisp, has been host to online cooking sessions on the YouTube page for families who may need entertaining during isolation.

The team also support local businesses with regional produce to provide to customers.

Karen Close, the operations director at the cafe, has said the cafe has always aimed to be a community hub for those in Penistone.

She told the Chronicle: “It’s always been important to us since the beginning to support our local residents.

“It’s been incredibly tough for the business in terms of revenue this year and I can imagine this has been similar across the borough.

“But we felt that it was our duty to do what we could to help support those going through a difficult time.”

The workers have taken their community classes and activities online in the hope to raise spirits during the pandemic.

“Every week since lockdown, we have invited local singers and artists to come along to our cafe and perform a set.

“We know times are incredibly tough for our local performers who haven’t been able to gig this year.

“Adhering to social distancing guidelines, we allowed artists to come and perform and then we would upload the concert online for people to watch.

“Our main aim to keep morale high and make people smile during a difficult period in our lives.

“We also challenged our local greengrocer, Penistone Fruit and Veg, to a blackboard banter game.

“Each morning we would display jokes for the locals to judge the best one. Everything we do is for them.”

The team have been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for in the Love Where You Live category.

Karen added: “It’s absolutely amazing to be nominated. It’s made all our efforts seem worthwhile.

“Everything we do is in the hope of making residents smile.”