Volunteers launch campaign to buy Halfway House on the Wrekin
A group of volunteers have launched an ambitious campaign to raise funds to secure Halfway House on The Wrekin, which recently went on sale, and turn it into a community center for people to enjoy.
Halfway House has provided refreshments to thousands of walkers over its 150 year history as a cafe and has undergone a major transformation by current owner Sean Saward with a newly restored kiosk and café pavilion, seating area exterior and gardens on a site which commands stunning views.
The business is gradually reopening after being closed by the pandemic, offering take-out service and the use of its garden for customers, and has resumed supporting fundraising events such as sponsored walks on the Wrekin.
Campaigners are committed to the building retaining its important role in serving residents and visitors with refreshments and would like to see the site developed as a welcome center for the Wrekin, providing new opportunities for events, camping, outdoor activities and nature talks, as well as a range of courses from art to orienteering with additional accommodation. Organizers would like to see a return of the pole dancing, Victorian swings and dance events that Halfway House was famous for in the early 20’s.e century.
Jenny Joy, who has run the cafe and helped restore the pavilion for the past three years, assembled a team of supporters including former Wellington Mayor Anthony Lowe, local GP Caroline Freeman, Borough Councilor Jacqui Seymour and Pauline Kesek and Kim Bennett, who are both regular Wrekin users and members of Wrekin Road Runners. They created a Community Benefit Corporation (CIC) to lead this nonprofit campaign over the next several years.
“The Wrekin is one of the most iconic places in Shropshire and the Halfway House has been a favorite spot for locals and visitors for many generations,” said Jenny, who took over management of the cafe kiosk after the locking.
Caroline Freeman added: “The surrounding area is one of Shropshire’s most important conservation sites with its ancient forests, unusual birds, butterflies, moorlands, owl life and much more.”
“Thousands of people have walked past the halfway house on their way to the top of the Wrekin for many years. From the 1,355-foot (407 m) summit, they enjoyed spectacular views of the Shropshire countryside. “
Pauline Kesek, President of Wrekin Road Runners, said: “We don’t want to lose this wonderful asset. This is why we are launching today this crowdfunding campaign to purchase this magnificent and historic site for the benefit of the community and future generations.
With Halfway House already on the open market, it’s important to act quickly. Donations can be made via the “Secure the Halfway House for the community” page via the Go Fund Me platform https://gofund.me/ec1cdd60
Fundraisers are also keen to involve as many community members as possible in their campaign. They encourage anyone interested in organizing their own fundraising events to support this cause to contact the team at [email protected]