Charity

A Lincoln cafe run by a charity who helps the homeless and people with addictions is reopening to customers on May 18 and The Lincolnite went to check out its popular Yorkshire pudding wrap.

Rising Cafe, run by the charity Betel UK, is located inside Alive Church on Newland in Lincoln and has a team of up to 15 staff, including manager Allison Stibbard, and Steph Bisset who runs the kitchen.

Ahead of reopening on Tuesday, May 18 the cafe asked customers on social media what they’d like to see back on the menu and the Sunday roast in a Yorkshire pudding wrap was in big demand.

Matthew Jones slicing the beef ready for the Yorkshire pudding wrap. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The tray of delights which help make up Rising Cafe’s Yorkshire pudding wrap. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Gravy is a vital addition to the wrap. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The wrap is priced at £8.25. You can choose between freshly cooked roast beef, chicken, nut roast or without meat, but with extra roast potatoes and vegetables.

The wrap also includes roasted potatoes and carrots, parsnips, glazed leeks, green beans and stuffing, before being finished with gravy.

There will be some new additions to the menu including homemade chicken nuggets, teriyaki chicken wings, summer salads, sweet potato Puy lentil and feta salad, as well as launching Fish Friday.

A tasty treat from Rising Cafe. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The ready to eat Yorkshire pudding wrap. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

As well as the popular favourite of the Yorkshire wrap, there will also be vegetarian and vegan options, including homemade chilli and meat-free hot dogs and burgers.

Steph Bisset has worked at the cafe for three years and she told The Lincolnite the team are looking forward to inviting everyone back to dine with them.

Steph Bisset runs the kitchen at Rising Cafe. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The cafe and the charity which runs it mean a lot to Steph, who added: “I was on crack cocaine for six years and they helped saved me.

“We all lived at Betel in Nottingham and built up a community with the cafe in Lincoln.

“Within Betel I have learnt all the skills that we do here in the cafe and they helped me see a better way of life as before that I was just existing in addiction.”

Rising Cafe can’t wait to welcome customers back inside on May 18. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Have you tried to Yorkshire pudding wrap from Rising Cafe? | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Allison Stibbard, the cafe’s manager, has been part of the cafe since it first opened five years ago.

She joined Betel as a recovering alcoholic and lived in the charity’s girls’ house in Nottingham. She has been clean for 10 years and loves working with her cafe family.

Allison Stibbard is now the manager at Rising Cafe, which has become a huge part of her life. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

She said: “Betel completely changed my life. I came in wanting to fix myself up and then go back to London, but I felt something really special with the girls’s house and found what I was looking for.

“I have always loved food and cooking and we are a family here, it is a wonderful environment.”

Some of the team at Rising Cafe in Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Some of the team at Rising Cafe in Lincoln. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

During lockdown, the cafe operated for delivery for afternoon tea and cakes whenever restrictions allowed it to do so.

The deliveries have now stopped and the cafe team is focusing on preparing to welcome customers back through the doors again in less than two weeks.

A Lincoln man who battled mental health and multiple suicide attempts is now preparing to follow in his father’s footsteps by running the Pennine Way for charity.

Running helped save Thomas Dunning and has been a massive part of his life since he started suffering with mental health problems after the death of his brother Will Bonner in 2009.

He has been determined to help others and raise awareness of mental health ever since and in September 2018 he was named as The Lincolnite of the Week.

As well as his full-time job of 13 years as a process engineer at British Sugar, Thomas is a motivational speaker, created a local running group and co-wrote a book about his life story with his wife Amber.

Thomas is now preparing for his next challenge – running the 270 miles of the Pennine Way, starting on May 31.

He will take on the journey from Kirk Yetholm in Scotland to Edale in England, finishing on his 30th birthday on June 16.

Thomas has been planning his route ahead of the challenge.

Thomas will run the first few days of the challenge, with his dad Lea who is a retired RAF survival expert.

This comes after his father Lea, who is now a retired RAF survival expert, took on the UK’s oldest national trail at the age of 20 in 1984. Lea even burnt his socks at the end to celebrate finishing his challenge.

The two of them will run together for the first few days of the challenge before Thomas continues on his own, but he will be joined by various friends at points along the way.

He will also find places to camp as he stops off during his trip, as well as seeing his family in Rochdale.

All proceeds from his fundraiser will be donated to RETHINK, a charity which is close to Thomas’ heart. The charity’s Lincoln support group turned his life around in 2014 and helped him become the man he is today.

Make a donation to his fundraiser here

Thomas Dunning suffered from mental health issues and has battled through some tough times. | Photo: mental_health_runner Instagram

Thomas and his dad Lea celebrating promotion at the home of the club they both support – Rochdale FC.

The Rochdale FC fan told The Lincolnite: “Running really changes and transforms people’s lives, and even saved mine. Whether it is for fitness, weight loss or even just the feeling of freedom, I don’t run for times or distance, I just love the happy feeling I get after a run and physical exercise.

“He (Thomas’ dad) is the main inspiration for why I am doing this. He did it in 1984 and for me it’s now come full circle as he’s doing the first couple of days with me, which means the world. I will also get to see some family in Rochdale along the route as well as popping into the football club.

“I’ll essentially be carrying my life on my back for 16 days, camping and exploring mostly on my own but also with the key message of how mental health will never be a limitation to anything we want to do in life. It may make things a bit tricky at times – but it will never stop us from being who we are and what we want to achieve.”

After a lot of therapy and psychiatric appointments when he was younger, Thomas was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder, PTSD and borderline personality disorder.

He has given a presentation about his story across the UK, and during lockdown virtually in America. He is an international motivational speaker, including at TED events and for ABF, Mind, Rethink, Siemens and NAMI (USA).

Thomas is also a multi-award winning mental health blogger, including receiving the ‘Trailblazer in positive social impact’ award in 2020, as well as being a member of Brooks Running UK Run Happy Team.

Thomas launched Run Talk Run in October 2019.

In October 2019, Thomas also launched Run Talk Run Lincoln, which takes place in the city every Tuesday for people who are struggling with mental health as it helps them get active and provides a safe environment to talk- download the ‘My Crew’ app to get involved.

On Valentine’s Day 2020, Thomas and his wife Amber Dunning launched their new book ‘Surviving the war against yourself’. He talks the reader through some of his darkest moments, saying “it’s okay to not be okay and that you are never alone going through mental illness.

They even got a letter back from Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, after sending them a copy of the book.

Thomas Dunning co-wrote the book with his wife Amber.

Thomas and Amber have also since launched the First Steps Forward programme to help give people in low income and/or poor mental health access to running by providing footwear thanks to Brooks Running.

During lockdown, Thomas has also volunteered helping Lincolnshire NHS service users and making sure that if they are promised something that the plan is followed through. He has also helped with medication and food drops for the Royal Voluntary Service.

Thomas wants to use his own experiences and running to help other people suffering with mental health problems. | Photo: Joseph Verney for The Lincolnite

Thomas tries to run three times a day and he will continue training in the build up to the challenge with a bespoke programme created by his close friend Laura Jones who runs We Are Fearless.

He added: “I never want anyone to go through what I did and what I put my wife through and that is why I founded Mental Health Runner, to show your mental health issues will never be a label or limitation.

“With one in four people suffering with a mental health problem at some point in their life – there are always three others who can help save a life.”

Over £2,500 was raised by a group of firefighters from Woodhall Spa Fire Station who ran over seven miles in their full heavy kit and breathing masks to raise money for charity.

Jake Watson, 22, and his colleagues set off from the fire station at around 10am on Saturday, May 1. They ran to their neighbouring station in Horncastle in kit including thick fire protective clothing, heavy fire boots, helmet and gloves.

The challenge took about 2 hours, including water and break stops, and over £200 was donated into the collection bucket by people cheering them on along the route.

The firefighters finished the challenge as a group together. | Photo: John Aron

The firefighters were cheered as they ran over seven miles for charity. | Photo: John Aron

During the middle portion of run the firefighters had to take their helmets and gloves off for a while to allow their temperatures to regulate safely.

The firefighters were supported by Woodhall Spa’s fire appliance and ambulance. They were met by the crew at Horncastle at the the finish line, who provided well-deserved refreshments.

The firefighters were supported by Woodhall Spa’s fire appliance and ambulance.

All proceeds will be donated to The Fire Fighters charity.

The fundraising page raised over £2,100 and the offline totals are still being added up before all the proceeds will be donated to The Fire Fighters charity.

The Fire Fighters Charity offers specialist, lifelong support for members of the UK fire services community. The charity’s income has fallen significantly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Commercial pilot Jake Watson also works as a firefighter at the on-call retained fire station in Woodhall Spa. | Photo: John Aron

A tough, but fun challenge for charity.

Raising money for charity with a smile. | Photo: John Aron

Crossing the finishing line. | Photo: John Aron

Among those who took on the challenge were colleagues Jake Watson and Martin Willerton, who both joined Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue at the same time in October last year.

Jake told The Lincolnite: “It was at times harder than I expected. The team were great and there was a lot of motivation that helped me and the others pull through, and we all finished as a group.

“It was a big boost for me to see the public give their support and the total in the bucket shows how much they are supporting us and the cheering was nice to see.”

Firefighters and managers took part in the challenge to raise money for charity. | Photo: John Aron

Firefighter Jake Watson after completing the gruelling seven mile challenge. | Photo: John Aron

Woodhall Spa is an on-call retained fire station so all its firefighters have other full-time jobs, including commercial pilot Jake. They offer up any time they can to provide emergency cover.

Five firefighters from Lincoln North Fire Station also took part in a fundraiser over the bank holiday weekend, climbing the building 100 times each up and down over four hours.

They have raised over £600 – donate to their fundraiser here.

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