Photo: Gavin King
Sarah Fitch, owner of Cuppa Café in Felixstowe and friend to all in her community, runs a wonderful environment at her café where local residents and visitors to the town can enjoy a relaxed, friendly space, top notch beverages and the most delicious homemade culinary delights. On Facebook, Sarah describes Cuppa as a ‘tea and coffee shop with a community space for clubs, groups, people working from home (we have WiFi) and friendly dogs (and their owners!).
Sarah describes herself as an ordinary person; a wife, mother and owner of a café that has grown over time. She loves Felixstowe. With her husband, she has lived in Felixstowe for 14 years – the longest they’ve lived anywhere. “Felixstowe is such a lovely place,” says Sarah. “It’s got its own charm and it’s got the countryside nearby; it’s got the town; it’s got the seaside! What more could you want. It is a really lovely place.”
Clubs and groups meet at Cuppa, with one of those being Felixstowe Death Café which is facilitated by Humanist Celebrant, Adele Chaplin, and supported by Sarah. Alongside two other groups in Ipswich, Felixstowe Death Café has been running for two years, giving people a safe space to talk about death and dying, whether they are grieving, have a life-limiting condition, wish to support others or are curious and want to learn more about a subject that is often seen as ‘taboo’ in society. As well as being a hub for the Death Café, Sarah tells us that families have gathered at Cuppa for their loved one’s wake because the café meant so much to them. “Cuppa is there for people,” says Sarah. “We’re there so people know there’s always someone they can talk to. Whether they want to talk about death or not, there’s always someone they can talk to… even if it’s just me there’ll always be someone there.”
“We only get one chance at this, and I think if you can make the world a better place for somebody, whether you’re talking about death or not, you’ve got to do your best haven’t you.”
Sarah sees a lot of depressing, horrible things happening in the world and this motivates her to help others. She’s passionate about doing her part to make a difference and be a positive force in her community, helping people and showing that she cares for them.
While caring for and helping those in her community, Sarah values her husband who she says is a huge support to her. She says that "bottling things up doesn’t get you anywhere" so she does talk to people.
Sarah completed a Mental Health First Aid Course with Mental Health England to strengthen her skills and response when members of her community visit Cuppa needing support. As well as being a listening ear, she says that she wanted to be able to signpost people to services and groups that could help. The course has given her new skills to do that - if she sees that someone is struggling, she knows how to guide them towards facilities and organisations that offer support.
Click on the links below to go to third party sites which are recommended by St Elizabeth Hospice: