The Table Restaurant and Cafe
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Vik is a multidisciplinary artist, designer and activist who co-founded the South Asian Arts Collective. A group of creatives including painters, poets, musicians, photographers and many more. He developed their branding, has run workshops, and curated a number of exhibitions, offering the members a platform to share their many talents. Passionate about grassroots community arts projects and public art, Vik recently painted a 25m mural for the Bilston Art Project. "Art should be accessible to everyone so where better than the street? That way it belongs to the public and not wealthy art dealers who use it to launder money"
Founded by members of Walsall Community Church in response to the pandemic, The Table has taken over a vacant restaurant in the heart of Walsall town centre to provide a welcoming and safe place for the community to come together in a safe environment. They believe that the town is home to an amazing and varied population from many different cultures and it wants to create somewhere that welcomes all and helps bridge gaps in the community.
It hopes to combat isolation and loneliness which has only been heightened by the pandemic, and support positive mental health through creative workshops, the facilitation of a positive and healthy environment that encourages relationships, support groups and other community activities, as well as being a local independent coffee shop for people to meet socially in the town. It also aims to support local small businesses by providing retail opportunities and wants to provide work experience and training for young people. Opened in April 2021, it currently has one paid staff member and a team of volunteers but is seeking funding to provide employment for more people. This will allow them to reach more community members and see Walsall restored, one cup of coffee at a time!