Positive opportunities for wellbeing, empowerment and recreation


PASTEL is a social enterprise set up by carers, in 2005, with the social aim of encouraging and supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged adults, young adults, carers and their families to make the most of their lives - providing a range of year-round weekday, evening and weekend opportunities for informal learning (personal development / life skills) and social activities. Customers include adults, and young adults, with autism and/or learning disabilities and/or mental health issues eg anxiety, depression - as well as Carers and older people seeking company. We aim to to prevent social isolation and promote general health and wellbeing. We help people to relax and enjoy themselves, make new friends and experience new activities. Ultimately we aim to support a more compassionate and inclusive community.

Apart from a few sessional workers, all the directors and members of the PASTEL Management Committee are volunteers. PASTEL generates over 2,500 volunteer hours for the community each year.

PASTEL is based at the multi-functional Fromus Centre, Saxmundham, in rural East Suffolk.





“After a long reflection, the volunteer directors have finally decided to wind up the PASTEL Community Interest Company.

After 15 years of successfully providing the award-winning PASTEL Saturday Club service to young adults with autism and learning disabilities - and later extending services for all vulnerable adults with the weekly PASTEL Cooking Club - we’ve have been forced to call it a day because of our long ‘temporary’ closure since March 2020, caused by the ever-continuing Covid pandemic and the resulting changing circumstances for everyone…

It has been a genuine privilege to give up time to plan and implement a very wide range of activities - to encourage and support our members in their personal development and their greater enjoyment of life.

Many friends have been made, laughter shared and precious memories created.

It’s a very sad outcome and we will really miss you all.” 

                                                                                                                               The PASTEL Directors, December 2021.


But all is not lost, as PASTEL leaves a legacy in the form of the pop-up SMILE Café – started by PASTEL nearly 10 years ago.

It is now run by the Rotary Club of Saxmundham & District and will restart in 2022, every Wednesday, starting on January 5 at the new Fromus Centre (Street Farm Road, Saxmundham, IP17 1AL), from 10am to 4pm.

See you there?

For further information, please visit www.smile-cafe.org.uk




Originally funded by the Big Lottery Fund, for three years, PASTEL CIC's subsequent funders and partners have included Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council, Open College Network, Suffolk Discrimination Law Service, TESCO, Waitrose, EDF Energy, Magnox, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company, The Rotary Club of Saxmundham & District, Saxmundham Town Council and Brook Farm Residents Association.

The PASTEL team works to ensure people are supported flexibly - to do the things they want to do. We are open to self-referrals or referrals via schools / colleges, transitions teams, social work teams, DWP / JobCentrePlus, community support etc.

Please use the navigation buttons, at the of the page, to learn more about PASTEL and our services.

And, in addition to these activities, PASTEL originally set up and now supports the Rotary Club with the running of the pop-up SMILE Café - a respite oasis for vulnerable adults, support workers and carers, in rural East Suffolk.