Building work is now underway to expand Jami’s Head Room Café in Golders Green, which brings awareness, education and access to mental health support to the high street alongside a vibrant kosher food and drinks menu.
Renovations have begun at 87 Golders Green Road, a former charity shop, which will be knocked through to the existing premises next door. The enlarged and newly renovated café will feature a bar area at the back and three semi-soundproof meeting rooms. Customers will have access to two more disabled toilets, which have just been built, and the kitchen is being completely renovated and enlarged enabling it to offer better menu options. Two high-definition TV screens, as well as a screen in the window, will play content even when the café is closed. One wall of the café will be dedicated to featuring photos and video content, and there will be sofas for lounging as well as tables for dining. Passers-by will also notice a new shop front, signage and awning. All works are expected to be completed over the following months in time for the café’s re-opening in the winter.
Laurie Rackind, Chief Executive of Jami, said: “Head Room Café is much more than just a café. It’s a real community hub on the high street but is simply not big enough. There’s neither sufficient space to deliver all the groups we want to run nor adequate room to be able to collaborate with other organisations and deliver community support. On top of this, we are also catering for people who pop in to enjoy really good food and drink. Ultimately, we just need to make the existing space bigger and better, so that many more people in the community can benefit from everything Jami’s café has to offer.”
The café expansion means that Jami will be able to build community, connections and social capital to improve mental health, along with creating more spaces that are accessible and inclusive of mental illness. The charity will be extending its peer-support programme of groups and events, which are free and open to everyone in the community from Monday to Friday. The increased space at the cafe will allow for a further three, two-hour sessions to be run each day for up to 20 people.
Following increasing demand for private events, the café will have capacity to entertain larger numbers including catered business meetings. It is hoped that a larger café will also reduce wait times during busy periods and increase the number of potential customers. And, complimenting Head Room Café’s ethos to feed both the body and the mind, it will now offer a revamped and healthier menu. Sticking to its roots of Middle-Eastern inspired food, the café’s vibrant sharing plates and hearty, fresh salads will take centre stage on the food menu with a wider variety of fresh juices and smoothies added to its drinks menu.
Head Room Café, which was formerly a Jami shop, was originally transformed in 2016 with funding from the Wohl Foundation.