Hill Station Community Café

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A community café, shop and exhibition space in Lewisham


Community café, arts and event


South East London

Award date

April 2017

The Hill Station is now a space where local people can spend time, share food, and enjoy regular events and performances. It also hosts art installations and exhibitions to showcase the talents of local people. Work space and training opportunities provide support to local start-ups and enterprises. The Hill Station also houses a community shop which sells craft-based goods made by local people.

Through the Trade Up programme, The Hill Station received a £10,000 grant and access to a learning programme from the School for Social Entrepreneurs which focuses on improving the traded potential of community businesses.

What is their social impact? 

The Hill Station café deliver training and work experience that helps local people find work. They also offer employment and training opportunities to residents who, for various reasons, find it hard to enter or stay in paid work. The inclusive nature of the café means that residents from the diverse community feel more supported and less isolated.

How is it community led?

The Hill Station café was a community-led project from the very start. During their initial fundraising efforts, local people became ‘bold backers’ by investing in community bonds in the café. Even the name The Hill Station Community Café was decided by a local competition.

Key objectives & Outcomes

Grant purpose

The grant helped the Hill Station develop two training programmes – one which trains aspiring Baristas and one which support local start-ups. They also developed a Pop-Up rental scheme, allowing local businesses to rent their space in holiday seasons

Locally Rooted

The management committee, staff and volunteer team – lives nearby. Most are within walking distance. The team source as many supplies from local businesses as possible, including bakery goods, meat and fish

Broad Community Impact

The Hill Station’s core social purpose is to feed and support the local community through food, friendship and the creative arts. They run a range of activities, exhibitions and events to cater for all interests and groups within the community