Norwich as a city has for centuries been proud of its reputation as a city of welcome, especially those who made the short crossing from our neighbouring European countries.
The concept of the Euro Café was born during the 2019 election as a way to show friendship to EU27 citizens and others who were experiencing a heightened sense of isolation and rejection. The suggestion was aired on local social media in Norwich and enthusiastically received, and the café launched on Saturday, 23 November 2019.
During the following weeks, the idea really resonated among the grassroots groups around the nation. Euro Cafés sprang up in towns around the UK, amplifying the opportunities to show friendship to our EU27 families, friends and neighbours.
Brexit, and now a war in Europe
For many people, Brexit was an earthquake, and the aftershocks continue. Some EU27 nationals have made the life-changing decision to leave the UK. Those who remain wonder how welcome they really are. Many UK citizens find that their country is no longer what they thought it was.
David, the founder of the Euro Café, was inspired by a meeting he had when volunteering with a local credit union. Shaking a new member by the hand (pre-Covid!) he said ‘Welcome’. She said she’d been in the UK for 3 years and that was the first time anyone had said that to her.
The Euro Café is a place to say ‘Welcome’ to each other, especially to EU27 citizens living in Norwich, and to celebrate values that seem under threat.
We especially welcome anybody who is affected by the war in Ukraine or who can offer help to those affected.
See our Links page for organisations offering help and guidance.
For more detailed analysis of the situation at the end of 2019, see the survey Experiences and Impact of the EU Settlement Scheme, carried out by the organisation the3million in late 2019.