Johnny’s Happy Place ready to welcome you to its cafe in Kettering

The cafe at Johnny's Happy Place in Kettering
The cafe at Johnny's Happy Place in Kettering

A new cafe run by the family and friends of a man who took his own life has opened and is ready to welcome people through its doors.

Johnny’s Happy Place was set up after Johnny Mackay died at the age of 29 after taking his own life on October 23, 2014.

Everyone is welcome

Denise Mackay

The charity wanted to open a space dedicated to supporting people like Johnny and after being given space at Keystone Youth Centre in Rockingham Road, Kettering, their cafe opened for the first time on August 8 and they will be open again on August 22.

Johnny’s mum Denise Mackay said: “The cafe is going to be open on Saturday, August 22, and then it will be open every Saturday after that.

“Everyone is welcome.”

They decided to start by opening on Saturdays as they feel there is not much available at weekends for people with mental health issues.

As well as the cafe, they want the space at Keystone to be a place where people can go to take part in arts and crafts as Johnny was very creative and loved art.

On the first day of opening for the cafe, the charity made almost £280 in donations after serving cakes, scones and drinks.

They are hoping to offer more on the menu in the future, starting with sandwiches and hopefully looking to provide proper lunches such as shepherd’s pie or jacket potatoes.

The charity’s website has more detail about their plans for the future, and it says: “Our vision is that the cafe will be a place of community and integration.

“We want to encourage social inclusion and for it to be used by groups and individuals who are marginalised as well as residents and visitors to Kettering.

“It will be open to everyone.

“We want it to be a fun, engaging and happy place that allows people to be creative and sociable.

“To begin with we will open only on Saturdays but hopefully this will change into weekdays too, dependent on how well we fare.”

For more information about the charity or to find out how you can get involved go to