Launched in 2020 by Lincoln based charity Acts Trust, the Night Light Café is a project commissioned by the NHS as an out of hours, non-clinical support service for people who are struggling with their mental health.
Currently operating from ten locations in Lincoln, with a timetable running between 4pm and 11pm every day of the week, these incredible cafés are staffed by teams of trained volunteers who are there to provide a warm welcome alongside free light refreshments, listening services and signposting advice for those who are struggling and need support.
The café provides a safe space for people on an evening, often a time that mental health is amplified, offering a warm atmosphere for guests to relax in.
The current Night Light Café timetable is:
- Monday 4pm – 8pm : St John The Baptist Church, Sudbrooke Drive, Ermine, LN2 2EF
- Monday 8pm – 11pm : Bridge Central, Portland Street, LN5 7NN
- Tuesday 4pm – 8pm : St Giles Methodist Church, Addison Drive, St Giles, LN2 4LH
- Tuesday 7pm – 10pm : Coffee Culture, The Forum, North Hykeham, Lincoln, LN6 8HW
- Wednesday 4pm – 11pm : Bailgate Methodist Church, Bailgate, LN1 3AR
- Thursday 4pm – 11pm : Boultham Breakthrough Centre, Boultham Park Road, LN6 7ST
- Friday 4pm – 8pm : Birchwood Breakthrough Centre, Larchwood Crescent, Birchwood LN6 0NA
- Friday 8pm – 11pm : Bridge Hub, Newark Road, LN5 8NQ
- Saturday 8pm – 11pm : The Salt House, Free School Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1EY
- Sunday 7pm – 10pm : Alive Central, Newland, LN1 1XG
A guest of the café stated, “If I hadn’t come along, I would have had a very lonely evening and would probably have ended up feeling very distressed. Coming to the café helped me to feel grounded and I left with a plan of action to see my doctor the next day.” Another added, “The Night Light Café had helped me so much thank you from the bottom of my heart for keeping me sane and getting me through a crisis.”
This project is truly changing lives and providing an incredible service to the community. The cafés have already had 1498 guests visit since January 2021 until the end of November 2021 and have made 1091 phone calls to guests needing their support and a friendly ear to listen to them.
It isn’t just the guests themselves who note the incredible work this team do, a referring agency commented, “The Night Light Cafés have been an absolute lifeline for many of my social prescribing clients as the cafés are non-clinical and for clients who have had difficult experiences with their mental health treatment, having a different approach which is based on empathy and a welcoming environment is revolutionary.”
If you are unable to travel or would prefer to speak to somebody over the phone, telephone support is also available every evening. To access the service, guests or referring agencies should call 0300 0111 1200 or make contact via their Facebook page @nightlightcafelincoln to book a visit or to arrange phone support.
Michelle, a project worker with Acts Trust and a Night Light volunteer, says “The one thing I would say to someone who is reading this and is having a really difficult time right now is to please contact us. It helps to talk, and we have many volunteers who are happy to listen and chat to support you during a difficult time.”