New LGBT bistro opened in Fleetwood by pair from TV show Four in a Bed

A couple from Fleetwood who founded a charity to support the local LGBT community and also appeared on TV have launched a cafe bistro in the town.

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 4:28 pm
The official launch of the Fishermens Rest cafe bisto: From left, John Conway,Luke Conway, The Duchess, Helen Jones (volunteer), David Malett (trustee), Raymand Castle (duty manager and volunteer)

Luke and John Conway set up LGBT Charity UK from their own savings of £8,000 and have now opened five charity shops across the Fylde coast, including one on Lord Street in Fleetwood which opened last summer.

On Monday this week they officially launched the Fishermens Rest cafe bistro further along the street.

Back in 2018 the pair also appeared as contestants on reality show Four in a Bed, which involves B&B owners taking turns to stay with one another and pay what they consider fair for their stay after giving feedback.

Inside the bistro on Lord Street

At the time Luke, 38, and John, 55 were running the Friends B&B in Blackpool.

Luke said of the bistro venture, officially opened by entertainer The Duchess: "It's just good to be able to open after all the months of having to stay shut.

"We're offering breakfasts, lunches and main meals or people can just come in for a coffee and a chat, on Thursdays to Sundays.

"All the profits will go back into the charity which will directly helps the LGBT community across the Fylde coast."

Luke said the couple still get recognised for their appearance on Four in a Bed.

He said: "Even now we still get some people saying to us, 'aren't you that couple on the B&B programme?', which is quite surprising.

"Sometimes it does your head in,so I can't imagine what it must be like for properly famous people who get it all the time.

"But we had great fun making the show, the programme makers treated us really well."

Earlier this year the couple, who live on Lord Street in Fleetwood, received Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s daily Points of Light award in recognition of their work for the LGBT community.

The award recognises outstanding individuals making a difference where they live.

As well as selling clothes from the shops, the charity itself offers a safe haven for people who identify as LGBT and to help serve as a visible, central source of support on a range of issues, such as homelessness and mental health.

Luke said at the time: “To be honest, we thought the award was a wind up at first, but it turned out to be genuine and we are delighted that we have been put forward for it. It just shows how much hard work we have been doing for the LGBT."

The couple, who are backed by a team of 18 volunteers in the shops, have helped a number of homeless people find homes since they have been running the charity and their shops include outlets in the Talbot Road and Waterloo Road areas of Blackpool.