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Hope on the Menu: Local mental health charity and Chirk-based café join forces to raise awareness and combat stigma.

Updated: May 30

Wrexham-based mental health charity, Advance Brighter Futures (ABF), and social enterprise café, Caffi Wylfa, have teamed up to tackle stigma head-on, raising awareness around mental health within the community.

Brian (Caffi Wylfa) & Zoe (ABF) at the Wrexham Business & Community Awards Charity Presentation in Feb '23

Photo Credit: Jenna​​​​ Lee Roberts

The partnership kicked off with suicide prevention training hosted by ABF at the Caffi Wylfa site in early April, which was delivered to community members working and living in the Chirk area.


ABF, founded in 1992, supports hundreds of people each year with their mental health. ABF are a safe space for anyone experiencing poor mental health, offering a mixture of one-to-one services - such as lifestyle coaching and counselling – along with wellbeing group activities, self-advocacy groups, and parent support groups. They also use their expertise to deliver life-saving awareness training to local organisations and businesses.


Zoe Whitehead, Business Development Officer at ABF, says: “We’ve got 32 years of experience under our belt of supporting the local community and we pride ourselves on being a caring organisation. When it comes to mental health, we know there isn’t a magic wand - but we listen to, genuinely care about, and believe in people. We’re passionate about what we do and we’re always looking at ways we can do more to help with spreading awareness and tackling the stigma around mental health.”

Enter Caffi Wylfa, a social enterprise and local café in Chirk. More than just a café, Caffi Wylfa embodies the spirit of giving back, channelling thousands of pounds each year into local charities and community groups. Their ethos of reinvesting profits into both their establishment and the community sets them apart as a true force for good.


Nestled on Castle Road in Chirk, Caffi Wylfa enjoys a prime location just a stone's throw away from the World Heritage site of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal. While its proximity to the historic landmark makes it an ideal pitstop after a leisurely stroll, Caffi Wylfa have first-hand experience of the effects that poor mental health can have on individuals, families, and the community as a whole.


Caffi Wylfa’s Director of Finance and Operations, Brian Colley, talks of that experience, “The employees and directors are aware of the impact of poor mental health and the devastating effects it can have on the local community. It’s this that has been the driving force at Caffi Wylfa, along with Chirk Town Council, to investigate what we could do to help.”


Zoe and Brian first met at the inaugural Wrexham Business and Community Awards (WBCA), a celebration of local excellence and social impact and hosted by BBC presenter and sports reporter, Jason Mohammad. It was here that Caffi Wylfa won Social Enterprise of the Year, a testament to their dedication to making a difference. The WBCA raised a whopping £20,000 that they donated to their carefully selected chosen charities, which included Advance Brighter Futures.

Caffi Wylfa accepting the Social Enterprise Award at Wrexham Business & Community Awards in Nov '23 and Jason Mohammad presenting the awards at the Wrexham Business & Community Awards in Nov '23

Photo Credit: Wowzers Photography

Once the awards had been dished out, the dance floor came alive and business cards were exchanged, setting the stage for an exciting partnership ahead.


Zoe says, “It’s been a pleasure to meet Brian and the team at Caffi Wylfa. We soon realised after meeting, that we both have a commitment to doing our bit and raising awareness around mental health. At ABF, we’ve been delivering training for almost 10 years, and with Caffi Wylfa’s understanding and care for their local community - as well as their high footfall of over 70,000 visitors a year - it seemed a no-brainer that we should partner up and see what we could do together to raise awareness within the community of Chirk and beyond.”


This work has already begun with the first suicide awareness training delivered to community members in Chirk, funded by Caffi Wylfa and Chirk Town Council.

The training equips people to be more alert to someone with thoughts of suicide and better able to connect them with further help. Using a simple yet effective model, the training empowers everyone to make a difference. With over 120,000 people attending the programme each year worldwide, it’s the world’s fastest-growing suicide awareness training course.


The training is for everyone and can be delivered at a community level - meaning your neighbour, the local walking group, or the person serving you at the local café can all be trained and learn the basic skills in how to reach out to someone and help them keep safe.

Brian Colley says, “On behalf of all the attendees, I’d like to thank Advance Brighter Futures. We’re now all better informed and trained to identify and help someone who is having a hard time with their mental health. We’re already looking into how we can raise more awareness in the community, and for even more people to attend another course in the near future.”


Zoe expresses her thanks, stating, “We're truly grateful to the Wrexham Business and Community Awards, not only for the vital funds raised, but for bringing ABF and Café Wylfa together. The collaborative partnership formed that evening with Brian and the team has helped us make strides in suicide prevention within our community, which is truly invaluable. It’s wonderful that Caffi Wylfa and Chirk Town Council are dedicated to the cause, helping us to bring this training to the community, and we’re looking forward to continuing this vital work to strengthen suicide prevention, and exploring how we can keep raising awareness across Wrexham and beyond.”


For more information on training with Advance Brighter Futures, or to find out more about the support they provide, you can visit their website or email them on

If you, or someone you know, need immediate support, there are helplines available who can offer 24/7 support and advice:



Call 116 123


C.A.L.L Helpline

Call 0800 132 737


NHS 111 Mental Health Support

Call 111 and select option 2



Text 85258


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