Never too late for new experiences and ……… new ambitions.

It’s Volunteer Week this week (1-7th June), so naturally, this week’s blog had be from one of our lovely Volunteers.     Richard volunteers in the ‘Refreshment Room’ cafe at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery.

He writes

As a gentleman of mature years (early seventies, if truth be known) and having enrolled as a volunteer in the refurbished, recently re-opened and much admired ‘Refreshment Room’ at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery, I did not anticipate it would provide me with a new ambition.

I wannabe a …… Barista!!

Having been a frequent visitor to this attractive venue within Lister Park – after all, at this age, I find café culture has become an especially important part of my social life, so the temptation to be involved in some modest way or other with this enterprise proved too great.

And after all, hasn’t it been said that the best way to deal with temptation, is …….. to give in to it? Especially when there is cake!

Just one of the cakes often to be found in the Refreshment Room Cafe…

So, having expressed an interest with Bradford Libraries, Museums and Galleries, Sonja Kielty accepted me as suitable and I turned up for my first session at this new amenity, with its tasteful decor and ambience – William Morris wallpaper no less – in late January 2020.

The Refreshment Room Cafe at Cartwright Hall Art Gallery

It has been very rewarding to be part of this busy and popular venture, with the bonus that lunch is provided during a five to six hour session. It is often busy and time flies when the pressure is on and the place is full.

To date I have confined my duties to ‘washer up’, developing a system that makes use of a dishwasher with a mercifully quick cycle, which is not only useful, but essential when all the tables have been occupied, and the used crockery and cutlery comes through thick and fast.

I have found the two ladies, Senga and Natasha, who run it to be charming and supportive, and often there is another front line volunteer also in attendance to keep things going.

Senga and Natasha

And, when things are quiet, I get to use the coffee making machine! A delicate touch has to be developed, indeed a skill, in making the correct selection from the numerous options available on the panel. One false move and, whoops, you’ve got a flat white instead of a black!

So, my next move will be to sign my papers and become indentured as an apprenticed barista.

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