Lightship Cafe Launch Event

The Lightship sets sail!
The time: Wednesday 14th December 2011,
The place: Beach Cafe, Grays Beach Riverside Park, Grays
The event: The Launch of the Lightship Cafe.

This event hosted by a group of volunteers and the Friends of Grays Beach Park was attended by members of the local authority, local residents and other interested partners.
This project started life as an idea to see the cafe in Grays Beach park opened during weekends in the winter for the benefit of the local community. Partnering with the local authority and members of the council, these volunteers outlined their vision to see the cafe in the park transformed into a community “hub” where people would have the opportunity to volunteer, be trained and have a place to meet.
Team member Gary Jones outlined where the idea for the name came from.
“We wanted a name to give a distinct identity to the project and something easily recognisable as being associated with the area of Grays Beach Park. The ‘Gull’ lightship has been a local landmark for many years and the light mast is quite iconic, hence the name Lightship was chosen”
Beverly Hoyte then presented the vision which included not just serving food, but also encouraging involvement, a healthy lifestyle, and a sense of purpose.
Jo Allison then opened up a time of discussion and a gathering of ideas of what this community “hub” could look like and events which could be run to encourage community cohesion.
“Monty” Kirby, local community champion, can see this project providing opportunities for local youngsters very much like Jamie Oliver’s ’15’ restaurants.
Gemma Riddles wants to see a healthy options, good value menu introduced.
Keeping an eye on policies and procedures is Andy Blakey.
It is hoped to open the cafe in the park on Saturdays from January to March 2012.

If you would like to know more about the project or for information on how to become part of this exciting project visit or email the team on