THE team at a Hoyland Common cafe has been put forward for a Proud of Barnsley award for the caring community service they offer.

Tinkers Cafe on Hoyland Road has been nominated by local resident Joan Hallbrook who has praised the cafe for its excellent service both to customers and other local residents.

"I would like to nominate Tinkers Cafe for the community hero award, as since they have taken over the shop, they have given excellent service both to the customers inside and other local residents.

“They are extremely pleasant and helpful, and look after the local old folk – including myself – very well.”

The cafe, which has been running for 27 years, changed hands in January 2022 and current owner Jo Thompson has worked hard to create a real community hub.

She offers a meals on wheels service which delivers meals to residents who may still feel vulnerable after Covid or are unable to get out.

And, working in conjunction with Age UK, the cafe has a luncheon club every Wednesday which offers a two-course lunch, hot drinks and bingo.

“The club is really popular and growing in numbers. It’s nice for the members to meet new people and make friends. Last week, one of the regulars celebrated his 88th birthday. He paid for everyone’s lunch and we made him a cake, sang Happy Birthday and put up balloons,” said Jo.

“He came in afterwards to thank us for making it special for him. I absolutely love doing what I am doing – I don’t see it as a job.

“I really do care about my regulars. If they don’t come in for a bit, I worry about them and give them a ring to see that they are ok and whether they need anything.”

The cafe also welcomes local groups like Mothers and Toddlers.

The cafe is also part of the Barnsley Safe Places scheme. The scheme is designed to help anyone who feels unsafe or unsure while out and about if something goes wrong.

The venues have been trained to be welcoming and helpful to anyone and everyone.

“If someone is struggling while they are out, maybe they got on the wrong bus or are just overwhelmed, they can be diverted to us and we will help them, get them a hot drink and maybe get in touch with family or friends to come and collect them,” said Jo.

Joan’s nomination continued: "I feel we should give them a chance as they are working extremely hard and the cafe is now very popular amongst local businesses and residents.

“They ensure that all older residents are fed well and recieve lovely community spirit including lunch club and outside catering and afternoon teas. Long may the continue.”

Jo was delighted but taken aback by the nomination: “When I found out about it, I just thought it was so nice that someone had taken the time to nominate us. I’m just doing the job that I love but I was really choked by it."