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Delight at generous customer's £10K donation towards Lancaster cafe roof repair bid

Barrie Marshall (centre) with Chris Newton from Single Step and Whale Tail owner Tricia Rawlinson

Staff at a popular Lancaster cafe and health food shop have thanked their customers for supporting a campaign to raise funds for a new roof - including one who donated £10,000!

The team at the Whale Tail vegetarian and vegan cafe and Single Step Wholefoods said they were "overwhelmed" at the reaction to their appeal.

The Penny Street building's roof is in urgent need of repairs and the Whale Tail and Single Step are trying to raise at least £40,000.

Thanks to a generous donation from Barrie Marshall, they are now closing in on reaching the target.

On Wednesday, the Whale Tail Cafe posted on Facebook:

"Words cannot express how grateful we are to the man, the legend that is Barrie Marshall. He has donated a stupendous £10,000 to our roof fund. Free poached eggs on toast for life, Barrie!

"We are so fortunate to live in this community. We have had other unbelievably generous donations from so many customers and friends of the cafe and Single Step. We are overwhelmed by your generosity."

The cafe website says: "Our roof is in a sorry state and is in urgent need of repairs. It’s leaking, it’s draughty and heat escapes through it like you wouldn’t believe.

"With the rising cost of gas and electricity, we’ve found ourselves in a very precarious position. Simply put, if we can’t get the roof sorted then the business won’t be viable much longer…

"Many of the jobs that need to be done include stripping off the existing roof covering, installing new felt and batten, new slates – and that’s before we pay for the scaffolding. We’re also aiming for proper insulation and solar panels, to help enormously with the bills. And, while we’re at it, we’d like to add three more velux windows, letting lots of sunlight in and brightening the place up no end.

"But this is a costly endeavour – at least £40k’s worth! So we’re asking for help from our customers and our community to help keep two of Lancaster’s longest running and much loved businesses up and running, so please donate whatever you can! 

"We’ve been running a series of events, including gigs, quiz nights, craft fairs, raffles and more, with a view to getting the work done within the year. So keep an eye on our social media pages to stay updated, and follow the hashtag #RaiseForTheRoof."

The Whale Tail is located on the first floor of an old cheese warehouse on Penny Street, with Single Step below them on the ground floor.

The fundraising page can be found HERE.

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