The Front Room Club, at St Luke’s Church, Downham, is a cafe style drop in for those who are experiencing or at risk of social isolation and provides a safe, welcoming and supportive place to grow. The club is a place to meet people, play bingo, access support and advice, develop social and practical skills, and talk about mental health challenges.

St Luke’s Children’s Youth and Families team who specialise in supporting children who have Autism and other special education needs welcome a small group of young people, from their local secondary school, every Friday. The students are provided with a safe and stimulating environment in which mutual respect, friendliness and an understanding of individual needs, supports the young people to achieve their full potential.

The activities we provide allows the young people to serve The Front Room Club such as; meal preparations, serving lunches, baking, cleaning, gardening and decorating the church for seasonal events, whilst developing their communication and interactions tailored to individual areas of need. The young people are also invited to take midday prayer with The Front Room Club guests, which allows them to get a deeper understanding of Christianity. St Luke’s Revd, Nick Walsh, is available to answer any questions they may have.

Our young people helping to prepare the vegetables ready to cook for The Front Room guests

The young people look forward to visiting us every Friday and are a vital asset to The Front Room Club; they feel part of the community. The young people arrive with beaming smiles, with one young member telling us “she looks forward to this all week”.

The young people were recently supported by two new teachers from their secondary school, who were covering regular staff’s absence. The teachers were so impressed by the activities of The Front Room Club, how the staff kept the young people engaged and their interactions throughout their visit. The teachers left beaming with a closing comment of “This is the best community project I have ever supported the young people on”.

Here are our young people planting flowers ready to give out to the congregation on Mothering Sunday

St Luke’s Church, Downham looks forward to welcoming and supporting individuals both neurotypical and neurodiverse into church to attend our weekly groups and Sunday service, with an on site Accessibility Coordinator dedicated to inclusion.