At the heart of the community, Blackfen Community Library and Rooted Coffee House provide a home away from home. Our motto is ‘A Big Hello’ – a warm greeting and welcoming space for everyone, including those who may not always feel welcome elsewhere. We are a community hub, though we do, of course, provide a full library service with a whole world of books, we also offer activities for people of all ages each week.
We have big ideas for the future and our staff and volunteers have a big heart to see our space used in a way that impacts Blackfen for good.
Rooted Coffee House, our café, is a central part of the library, providing an amazing space in which we run various activities and events that bring our community together. You can also hire this bright and unique space for your events and celebrations or just come and enjoy a catch-up with family, friends or chat with one of our volunteers!
We run many exciting projects, meeting the needs of those of different ages and stages of life.
Tues – Fri: 9.30am–5.00pm
How to Join
We’d love you to join Blackfen Community Library.
To register for your library card simply pop into the library with a form of ID which states your address. It will only take a few minutes to issue you your new card.
New Generation Community Trust
New Generation Community Trust was established to manage the Community Library and Coffee House in 2015. Governed by a great team of Trustees who all live in the local area, and managed by a small staff team who all have many years of experience running projects in the local community.
We have an amazing team of committed and skilled volunteers helping to deliver our services, activities, groups and events.
We all have a passion to see the local community flourish and reach its’ potential.
We love to involve the local community to help inform us of the local needs for us to grow our programs and groups and we offer support where needed.
We hold regular consultations where the community can have their say.
We have a close working relationship with Bexley Council and report progress against key library performance indicators every quarter.
Partnerships & Funding
Over time we have established great partnerships with local businesses, charities and organisations.
Working together with local businesses has helped us to provide resources for events and projects. Our open-door project for the lonely and isolated brings together businesses in the area to provide lunches, afternoon teas, decor and entertainment.
We provide a free space for local charities to deliver support from.
The London Borough of Bexley supports Blackfen Community Library through quarterly funding grants; enabling peppercorn rent for the lease of our building and assistance with repair and maintenance costs and a percentage of our core costs.
As a charity we raise funds to covers the cost of all other running costs including staffing and project costs.
Rooted Coffee House was established to help bring sustainability to the community hub and any revenue goes back into the running of the hub.
We actively seek funding from grant funders. The co-op has been a regular supporter and their Community Fund has been a great help to us in establishing some of our community projects and we have been successful with grants from funders such as the National Lottery, Postcode Lottery and Garfield Weston.
We also have other income streams such as our ‘Friends’ of the Library’s annual subscription, Bexley Community Lottery and Amazon Smile, sales of donated books and regular fundraising events.
Running since 2016, we are proud of what we have achieved so far. We have established ourselves on the high street, developing a lively community hub providing great library services along with a creative and empowering space for the community of Blackfen. We have grown our membership and developed regular programmes of activities for people of all ages in our local community.
We want to keep providing more services and opportunities for growth, inspiration and transformation for our visitors, library members, volunteers and employees. Some of our ideas to do this include:
- inspiring local writers and performers to use our space to promote local creativity and bring people together
- developing a creative space for young people to express their literary work such as open mic sessions, spoken word events, book readings and launches
- providing more support and training to facilitate work experience for young people with disabilities and/or young people who are not in education, employment or training
- providing work experience opportunities in the coffee shop to give unemployed people valuable, transferable skills
- continuing to grow our support and offer for young families
- providing ‘life coaching’ sessions for our staff and volunteers to enable them to achieve their potential
- providing more formal training and inspiring experiences for our volunteers to ‘give back’ and build capability and confidence
- continuing to run community events, particularly events which have been successful in bringing isolated people in to the Library
- growing our support for the elderly in our community
- reaching out to the lonely and isolated
Do you have any ideas for how we can better serve our local community? We’d love to hear them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org