Board in the City CIC (BitC) is Southampton’s first dedicated board game cafe.
However, we’re a little different from other board game cafes in that we’re proud to be a community interest company. We are dedicated to helping our local community, which we achieve through our all-inclusive culture and our extensive outreach programmes.
Our all-inclusive culture provides a safe space for any and all to work and play. We directly help our staff by training them in practical skills like food hygiene and customer service, which they’ve then been able to take with them into the world of work. In this way we’ve been able to help dozens of people who otherwise had been unable to build the skills and confidence needed to find employment.
Our culture and values have also allowed us to host a myriad of games nights and events dedicated to inclusivity. Like our staff, our customers have also benefited greatly from the safe and friendly space we provide, giving home away from home for vulnerable individuals and demographics.
Our extensive outreach programme has also provided targeted supported to the local community. In our first year, our focus was education, in our second year – assisted living for the older generation.
In 2020, our focus was on mental wellbeing; using games to provide people with a source of fun, safety, making new friends, and the sense of achievement and confidence that learning and playing the games provides. For many, the club represents not only a fun place to spend some time, but a fulfils a vital sense of belonging and feeling good about themselves and their relationships with others.
A community where anyone/everyone can have enough choice to feel welcomed and included; have the chance to develop, also can have physical and/or emotional support in alternative ways.
Atul was warm & welcoming. He took time to understand, and he validated the issues raised and praised our business practices – this was a real confidence boost in such troubled times.
Hayley Binstead, Managing Director, Board in the City