A CAFE – which was started by two childhood friends in September last year – has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award for instilling community spirit during lockdown.

Wheels and Walkers, based at Park Road in Worsbrough, is a dog-friendly cafe that has only been open for business for around five months but has made quite the impact.

The cafe, ran by Jo Potter and Clare Griffiths, was a lifelong dream for the pair who met at Barnsley College years ago.

Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, the friends opened for business in September with a focus on community spirit.

Jo, 50, is thrilled to be a lifeline to those across Worsbrough who may be struggling through the pandemic.

“We wanted to open last January but with the pandemic it became impossible – thanks to the help of our friends and family we were able to get this to come together for September.

“We’re both from Worsbrough so this is so special to us.

“We wanted to be able to thank the community we love, so we have old memorabilia, photos and poems from Worsbrough’s residents.

“We’ve only been able to do takeaway at the moment, but we still love to see people and look forward to opening up properly soon.”

Clare, 49, added: “What’s important to us is our customers and we love the relationship we’ve built with them.

“It’s been so nice to give people a safe space to come and have a brew or a quick chat, especially this year.

“But it’s also given us a kind of therapy as well. It’s kept us going, despite how hard it’s been to set up a business during lockdown.

“It’s all been worth it.”

The pair’s efforts landed Wheels and Walkers a nomination in the Exceptional Achievement at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.

Clare said: “We’re so thrilled, it’s fantastic news. We couldn’t believe it when we heard.

“It just tells us that we must be doing something good. This isn’t about us though, it’s about our community who have helped us succeed during a tough time.

“We’re Barnsley folk, we’re made of stronger stuff.”