Vinnie’s, Blackfriars at The Ouseburn

I found out about a local community project on Facebook and really wanted to share it with the readers of Canny Food. There is no denying that times are tough financially for many, but when you hear how people are supporting foodbanks and still donating to charities it is a reminder of how strong our community spirit still is. 

Vinnie’s is a drop-in cafe located upstairs in the St. Vincent’s Blackfriars Cafe on a Tuesday between 11am and 2pm. Run by a team of volunteers, this initiative is aimed at those who are on low incomes or who are homeless to receive a home cooked meal. The project receives donations from the public and from local supermarkets which helps them craft a menu on a weekly basis.

I popped along with Dinky to chat to the volunteers and to see what was on offer. We’d previously visited the venue for the pop-up cinema that’s held in the function room.

There were so many people already there when we arrived that more tables were being set up in another part of the venue. Three weeks in and Vinnie’s has already been a roaring success. It is sad to think that so many people are struggling to make ends meet but great that there are projects such as these to ensure no-one has to go without, even if it is just for a day.

Dinky had some Beans on Toast for lunch while everyone else was tucking into their Pasta Bolognese and Ginger & Orange Cake with Custard. It was nice to take the opportunity to have a natter with people while we were there. Those who are struggling financially can feel isolated so this community project is a lovely way to get them out of their homes and socialising with others too.

There’s a range of initiatives happening at St. Vincent’s, including a toddler group that features arts & crafts activities that will entertain the little ones. 

Supermarkets and local people have been donating food to help the cafe operate, with huge crates being delivered ahead of Vinnie’s opening for them to create a bespoke menu each week. Due to demand, volunteers are also needed to support the work they do within the community.

If you’d like to donate or find out more about SVP Blackfriars, check out their website here.

Thanks for reading,

Pip x


  1. cat hooper

    What a brillant idea! if i was retired i’d love to do some volunteering at a place like this

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      It is a great way of supporting people who need a little bit of help within the area in such an effective way. I wish I had more free time!

  2. Lynda

    What a worthwhile venture! Will certainly check out their website.

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      It’s lovely to see the community pulling together and support those who are in need. I hope the blog was able to raise some awareness of what’s happening in the area.

  3. Emma

    Hi Emma

    Thank you so much for coming along to Vinnie’s and for writing the wonderful blog about us it really helps to spread the word it was lovely to meet you and your beautiful little lady. We just had our 4th week at vinnies and had another lovely turnout we have had to move it to the main hall nowdownstairs as upstairs was a little small for all our visitor’s.

    We welcome everyone along for lunch or even just a cuppa every Tuesday between 11-2 we hope to see lots more people coming along to Vinnie’s. ❤️

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      You’re all doing such a wonderful job. I will definitely pop back for a cuppa and a chat 🙂


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