Long-established Lancaster co-operative launches £40k fundraising appeal

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Staff at a long-established Lancaster café and wholefood shop are pulling out all the stops to raise funds for a new roof .

The city’s original Whale Tail vegetarian eatery and the Single Step wholefood shop are in desperate need of a new roof with repairs costing £40,000 needed this spring.

They have launched a Raise For the Roof campaign with concerts, club nights, storytelling events, Valentine’s meals, wine tastings and what has now become a regular quiz night all being hosted to raise funds.

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Along with merchandise (you can even get yourself a Raise for the Roof T-shirt with a design by Lancaster artist Hannah Corbett), an online GoFundMe page, and collection boxes in both the café and the shop, the campaign has managed to raise over £18,000 since it launched in October.

Tricia Rawlinson, owner of the Whale Tail Café in Lancaster.Tricia Rawlinson, owner of the Whale Tail Café in Lancaster.
Tricia Rawlinson, owner of the Whale Tail Café in Lancaster.

“We're really proud of our efforts, and incredibly grateful to all of our customers, friends and neighbours who have donated so generously to our much needed repairs,” said a spokesperson.

"But we're still a way off our target – and we need all the help we can get!”

How you can help

Firstly, you can donate to the GoFundMe if you're able to. Every donation helps, no matter how small. Even if you can only spare a couple of pounds, you can chip in to the Buy Me A Coffee fund.

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Who are the Whale Tail and Single Step?

Single Step first opened its doors on King Street in 1976 before moving to its current premises on Penny Street the following year. The shop began as a radical bookshop selling books on feminism and left-wing politics. The building down the alley on Penny Street was known as The Warehouse with a café upstairs, and book and wholefood shop downstairs.

Eventually, the two businesses separated to become the Whale Tail Vegetarian Café and Single Step Wholefoods.

For many Lancaster residents, the Whale Tail is a much-loved local institution providing vegetarian food at a time when vegan and vegetarian lifestyles were considered a bit weird everywhere else.

Single Step is a workers’ co-op which means it's owned and run by its members, and has been selling low impact, ethically sourced, plant-based wholefoods since long before the supermarkets jumped on the green bandwagon.

“Both businesses are proudly independent and an integral part of Lancaster's community,” added the spokesperson. “With your help, we can continue to be so for many more years to come.”

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