Category: A View From

Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe

Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe

We asked readers from Cardiff North to tell us what’s happening in their community. This week, Clare Rowthorn tells us about Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe in Rhiwbina, a joint venture with Laura Tilley, developed under the guidance of the charity Purple Shoots. Clare lives in Rhiwbina with her husband Chris and two children Joseph and George. She works at Rhiwbina Baptist Nursery as a Nursery Assistant.

I have a passion for working with children and young people with additional needs and feel very committed to developing an inclusive society in which all people can feel valued and thrive. Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe is a self-reliant group (SRG) trading under the charity Purple ShootsIt’s a joint venture between myself and Laura Tilley with parents, Jo and Derek.

Laura from Miss Tilley's Community CafeLaura is 22 and lives in Tongwynlais with her parents and brother Marc. Laura has Down’s Syndrome and is the inspiration behind our community cafe. Laura has recently completed a three year course at Derwin College, Shropshire, where she has been living and studying. Laura has now returned home to continue to develop her independence and to pursue her many skills and interests.

Laura and I have been friends for 8 years and met when I applied for a carers post supporting Laura on her return home from school each day. Laura and I hit it off over a shared love of music and dancing in particular to Justin Bieber! Over the years Laura, myself and our families have become firm friends.

On Laura’s return from college a joint venture began with the launch of “Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe (SRG)”. Laura and I have recognised that on leaving school and college people with additional needs and disabilities find it very challenging to find employment and this can lead to them feeling undervalued and isolated. The aims of our cafe are to “promote equality and celebrate diversity” and we have identified the community as playing a vital role in supporting young people in reaching their potential and essentially in recognising their self worth.

Miss Tilley's Community Cafe

The communities of Rhiwbina and Tongwynlais have been hugely supportive of our venture. Beulah United Reformed Church have very kindly provided us with The Whittaker Lounge as a weekly venue for our cafe and we have been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of customers and willing cake makers from both villages. We are very grateful and excited that so many people share our vision of inclusion and meaningful employment for all. At Miss Tilley’s everyone is welcome and all can come and enjoy excellent quality tea, coffee and cakes in an accepting and inclusive environment.

Miss Tilley’s is open every Monday during term time from 10:00 – 12:30 at The Whittaker Lounge, Beulah United Reformed Church, Rhiwbina.

We’re planning a ‘Pop Up’ event in Tongwynlais Village Hall on the 15th October serving tea, coffee and cakes. Details will be posted on the Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe Facebook page.  

We would like to thank everyone for their ongoing support of our community venture, and look forward to welcoming you to our cafe soon!

If you’d like to share your stories from Cardiff North, please get in touch or say hi on Twitter.

A View from Llandaff North

Hailey Park

We asked readers from Cardiff North for their views about where they live. This week, Simon Braybrook tells us about living in Llandaff North.

I’ve lived in Cardiff North since getting married 11 years ago. I got engaged at Castell Coch, Tongwynlais, rented in Whitchurch, then bought a house in Gabalfa before moving to Llandaff North two years ago. I love Llandaff North because of the beautiful Hailey Park and access to the Taff Trail. I work as a GP in Butetown and commute by bike every day (or, if the weather is truly abysmal, via the highly convenient train service). However, what I love most of all about Llandaff North is the sense of community.

There aren’t many suburbs that are small enough to feel like a village but Llandaff North does exactly that. We have three great pubs, one of the best coffee shops in Cardiff (owned by Lew who has single-handedly done a great deal for the sense of community through the Llandaff North Festival) and some really active community groups. One group I am especially fond of is 2nd Llandaff Scouts.

The Scout group has been in Llandaff North for over 100 years, on the site of Christchurch United Reformed Church. I accidentally became a volunteer when my son joined Beaver Scouts (which runs from age 6-8) three years ago. They needed extra help and my son was nervous about going along. Now I lead one of the two cub packs (ages 9-11). The Scout group is thriving now, having about 130 kids from Llandaff North and the Gabalfa estate. There are boys and girls in every group; Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, and Explorers. Several leaders grew up in the group: Abbie, our Scout leader, was the first girl in Wales to join Scouts. I love how Scouting helps young people develop personal skills, a sense of adventure, an opportunity to serve others in the community and, especially, get outdoors and active in all weathers. We use the hall pretty much every day of the week, regularly use Hailey Park and the woods at forest farm for wood craft and adventure, as well as going further afield on trips and camps.

This year the group faces particular challenges as the church us now up for sale and the land our Scout hut is on is being sold with it. That’s the downside of living in Llandaff North: its desirability as a place to live means land is at a premium and we have to pull together to ensure that community groups don’t get pushed out. But we are hopeful that the community will pull together to help save our Scout group by either raising the money to buy the land or find another home in the heart of our community. As this website is all about our local representatives, it’s important to say that Julie Morgan AM, Councillor Sue White and Councillor Dilwar Ali have met with us and offered their help by accommodating us in a proposed new Council Hub near Llandaff North library. We’re grateful for their help, but this would be our second choice to safeguard a Scout hut of our own at the heart of Llandaff North.


We have exciting fundraising plans. We are asking businesses to support out “Big Bob A Job” by having our group do jobs for them in return for a donation. You can find out more about our group at and donate at

By Simon Braybrook

If you’d like to tell us about where you live, please get in touch.

Image credit – Stuart Herbert