Anniversary celebrations for community cafe

Aaron Penfold
Sep 17, 2013 3 mins read

There was cause for celebration at Hellesdon Community Centre’s Thursday morning Peace Cafe on September 5, as regulars, staff and volunteers gathered together to mark the cafe’s second birthday.

Rev Enid Jones-Blackett first started a coffee morning at the centre several years ago, but two years ago the centre committe decided to expand what was on offer and the café took on its current format, offering fresh, homemade scones and cakes and light lunches for centre users and the general public.

“It has proved to be very popular,” said centre manager Kate Leggett, who has a background in catering. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of the volunteers that have assisted me over these past two years. They are an integral part of the team here.

“Over time we have developed a nice following and we have people come in every week to see us and meet their friends over a coffee and a scone.

“Members of the public wander in after a trip to the library or a walk on the recreation ground and we are open to all, not just the users of the centre.

“We also run the café on Carnival days and this year we had a wonderful day with the foyer being at capacity from 11am-4pm. It was literally jam packed in here and there was hardly a spare chair.

“From my point of view I am so glad that the residents like what we have done and that they support us as much as they do. After all we are here for them and if it wasn’t for their support we would not exist.”

And the general consensus among cafe regulars was certainly positive.

Jean Clarke said: “There’s a wonderful atmosphere. I would like to see this every day, bringing the community together.” Doreen Webb and Angela Gwen added: “There’s a nice atmosphere, lovely scones and tea at reasonable prices. May it continue for a long time.”

While Martha Woods appreciates the cafe after walking her dog. “Dog walkers appreciate the warm atmosphere after a cold walk with the dogs, and the opposite in the summer: a cool place to sit and chat with friends after a hot walk with the dogs,” she said. “There’s excellent coffee and scones, excellent service and a friendly atmosphere.”

Several of the centre committee attended the birthday celebrations and were able to meet with the public and discuss their needs and desires for the centre in the future.

“With our lease expiring in a couple of years we are doing everything we can to secure the future of the centre for the residents of Hellesdon and the neighbourhood,” said Kate.

The café is open every Thursday from 9am-1pm for tea, coffee, fresh cakes and light lunches, all served by friendly staff in a welcoming environment.

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