A Liverpool charity that works with families affected by domestic abuse has applied for planning permission to open a café in a disused shipping container.

Lift the Lid is a project by Merseyside Domestic Violence Service (MDVS) that will transform a shipping container to create a Coffee Pod where every cuppa served will ‘lift the lid’ on domestic violence so that it is no longer a hidden crime.Lift the Lid - Merseyside Domestic Violence Service Coffee Pods Proposed Elevation Extract

For the past 20 years, MDVS has been helping the most vulnerable families in Liverpool. Its main aims are to safeguard women, children and young people through education, empowerment, and prevention by tackling the root cause of the problem. The voluntary organisation offers support, advice, and educational programmes, breaking the cycle of abuse and aiding the recovery process.

This week a full planning application for the siting of a shipping container in Great George Square, Liverpool, near to the Chinese Arch, to be utilised as a café kiosk was submitted to Liverpool City Council by Darren Muir, Principal Planner with consultants Pegasus Group.

The Coffee Pod will be run by volunteers who will gain skills, increase confidence, and improve their career opportunities. All profits will be used to help families across the city experiencing domestic violence.

Darren MuirDarren said: “This is such a great project to be involved in and I was really happy to be able to provide planning and project management services for the preparation and submission of the application pro bono in my role as a Planning Aid England volunteer. Pegasus Group facilitated this by allowing me the time to work on the application while making all their resources available to support the project.”

Through his experience working in Liverpool, Darren was also able to secure the services of architect Andy James, Director at Architectural Emporium, and Matthew Potier at MP Trees who provided architecture and arboriculture services free of charge.

Architectural Emporium is an award-winning RIBA Chartered Practice based in Liverpool, delivering sustainable buildings and communities. Of paramount importance to their ethos is to improve the built environment and provide better quality places through contemporary, affordable and original architectural interventions.

To date, nearly £10,000 has been pledged to the project, including a generous kick start of £4,232 by the Mayor of Liverpool growth fund. In addition, £5,188 was pledged by the Steve Morgan Foundation in partnership with the Department of Culture Media & Sport. A further £480 came from pledges kindly made by members of the public.

Ayla Nasuh of MDVS, said: “It’s been uplifting to see the number of businesses and experts who have jumped on board to help us, we can’t thank them enough and we couldn’t have done it without them.

“We are all well aware that incidents of domestic abuse have sky-rocketed during Covid lockdown, and now more than ever we are excited to move our Lift the Lid campaign forward – it will make such a difference to so many people’s lives.”

Ayla added that the project will:

  • Provide a service – selling quality, affordable coffee to the public.
  • Develop skillset – giving volunteers the opportunity to gain training, increase their skills and enhance their career opportunities.
  • Offer advice – providing a safe space for people to open up and discuss their personal experiences of domestic violence.
  • Provide support – all money raised will be used by MDVS to help provide the best support to individuals and families affected by domestic violence.

For more information about this project, or any of our services – please contact us.