A KIND-HEARTED Penarth trader who started his own coffee business in the midst of the pandemic last year been thanked with an award for offering a safe space for residents to talk about mental health.
Piotr Skoczylas, founder of Stol Coffee, has won the ‘This Can Happen Covid-19 Unsung Hero’ award for his ‘Together is Better’ movement that aims to tackle mental health issues in the Penarth community by talking.
Each Sunday at Alexandra Park, Mr Skoczylas parks up with his coffee and cookies to provide a listening ear to Penarthians and beyond who have dropped by to have “meaningful conversations.”
When asked why he started this movement, he said it stems back to his childhood when he was bullied in school.
“I was a bigger kid,” he added.
“Always the tallest, always problems with weight, and was always the outsider.
“And I think I’m just trying to find a way to be accepted by the local community in a deeper way.
“I don’t want to be the kid in the corner, I want to show that I can do something great.
“For me it’s not about trying to fit in, but to be accepted, which I think we need more of now-a-days as we are all so fragmented and disconnected.”
As for the award, the person has to be nominated by other people, they cannot nominate themselves – a true testament to the impact he has had in the town, and that people from across the world raised over £7,000 for him to buy a new tricycle for him to deliver his sweet treats.
The This Can Happen Awards were launched in 2019 to recognise businesses and individuals and their approach towards positive mental health, of which Mr Skoczylas is the first to win the Unsung Hero category.
One of his customers had put him forward and asked him to fill out a form to be entered, and thanked the Ingram family for doing it, adding that they “believe in the same thing I do” which is “making this world a better place by bringing people together.”
Mr Skoczylas would like to extend his gratitude to the people of Penarth for all the help and support they have given him since he started his journey last year, adding he is “eternally grateful.”
To find out more about Stol Coffee and the ‘Together is Better’ movement, head to @stolcoffee on Facebook.