Reviving hope – with a cuppa in New Mills

The newly opened Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

The newly opened Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

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A CUP of tea or coffee in New Mills goes a long way – over 4,000 miles in fact!

That’s the distance between the new Revive coffee shop in New Mills, run by volunteers from the local Revival Church, and two of the projects it supports in a poverty-stricken area of Africa.

Rose and Ben Wood handing out samples at the newly opened Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

Rose and Ben Wood handing out samples at the newly opened Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

The church, through the Christian organisation Revive a Life Uganda, provides financial assistance to an orphanage and a medical centre in Uganda.

And this will now be even easier with the opening of the Revive coffee shop, on the High Street, profits from which will be used to support the church’s good causes.

The charity Revive a Life Uganda was founded in 2006 by its director Colin Bonser, to work with orphans in the Kawempe area of the land-locked country.

Pastor Peter Bird, Senior Minister at Revival Church, who has visited the area, said: “What first struck me when I saw the scale of the poverty over there was that somebody had to do something.

Founder of charity Revive a Life, Uganda, Colin Bonse at the Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

Founder of charity Revive a Life, Uganda, Colin Bonse at the Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

“We take for granted having a home, proper services and amenities, but over there kids are living without any parents, in the streets or in little shanty shacks.”

At an annual cost of £9,300, Revive a Life Uganda pays for the upkeep of an orphanage in Kawempe, a suburb of the Ugandan capital Kompala.

The money helps feed and clothe the orphans, who range between the ages of three and 11, and pays for two carers to look after them.

“The intention is to look after them until they turn 16, when hopefully, with the invaluable education they are provided with, they are able to go out into the real world and get some kind of employment,” explained Peter.

Pastor Peter Hill and Town Council chair Chantal Hannell celebrate the opening of the Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

Pastor Peter Hill and Town Council chair Chantal Hannell celebrate the opening of the Revive Coffee shop, New Mills

Revive a Life also pays for the rent of a medical centre in Kawempe, at a cost of £2,040 per annum. The centre was originally set-up by an American charity, but had been left in danger of shutting down when the support dried up.

Peter said: “The medical centre provides operations, delivers babies and deals with all check-ups and health problems. There is a doctor who gives his services for free.

“It all looks very, very basic compared to the standard of our health facilities, but to them it is a life-saver. I’m told it is the only one for miles around.”

In addition to the Revive a Life Uganda projects, and closer to home, the Revival Church runs a debt counselling service for New Mills residents in partnership with Christians Against Poverty.

Money to support these three worthwhile projects is collected in a number of ways, including through donations and fundraising by the church and its 200-plus congregation.

And a percentage of the profits from the Revive coffee shop, which was opened last month by New Mills Town Council Chairman Chantal Hannell, will now also be ploughed back into the projects.

Apart from a manager, the shop is being staffed entirely by volunteers.

Added Peter: “I think there is a feel-good factor when you are contributing to good causes, and that is the type of environment we wanted to create.”

The Revive coffee shop, 50 Market Street, is open Monday to Saturday, 8.30am-4.30pm.

To support any of the Revival Church’s projects, or for more information, call 01663 741112 or visit www.revivalchurch.org.uk.