The Bridge Street Café has launched a new initiative aimed at providing meals and drinks to those in need.

The pay it forward scheme allows anyone to come into the café to purchase an extra item off the menu to allow others to redeem it later. A donation can also be made towards the cost of one or more items rather than choosing one menu option in particular.

Anyone struggling can then come into the café and redeem one of the items, which are written on post it notes by the counter, for free. The scheme operates on goodwill as well as the generosity of others.

Emma Smith, a 44-year-old employee at the café, told the Advertiser: “A lot of people are struggling at the moment with Covid and being put on furlough.

“A lot of people want to help everyone else because of what we’ve all gone through, as just a free coffee or meal can make someone’s day.”

Notes on the board also have little comments for whoever receives them, to try and “leave a little kindness for someone that may need it.” Comments include the recipient having “a magical day” or telling them to “keep smiling.”

The scheme is already going well, with £50 in donations on Monday morning (October 12) alone. Customers have lauded the scheme as “a great idea” and “fantastic.”

“It’s a pretty good start,” said Emma. “We had a homeless man who was diabetic come in earlier, and he was really grateful for a hot meal.”

She’s hoping the scheme will be able to expand in the future, and fill the counter with post-it notes for a variety of menu options.

“I hope it will grow,” said Emma. “I want to encourage other businesses to do the same as us.”

The Bridge Street Café is located on the ground floor of The Bridge, and is open from 9:30 to 14:30 during the week.