Cromer Community cafe to support the lonely
2015: Volunteers at Cromer Methodist Church Hall, on West Street, will be dishing up homemade food, puddings, warm drinks and conversation every Monday lunchtime for those on their own, in a bid to tackle the increasing problems of loneliness and rural isolation.
It is hoped that the Community Café pilot venture, supported by Cromer churches and Cromer and District Foodbank, could spread to Holt and potentially other north Norfolk towns.
The Rev Sharon Willimott, who is behind the project, said that the café was about building some sort of community cohesion, and to combat the feelings of social exclusion that can lead to depression. She pointed out that isolation increases as people’s financial situations get worse, as they do not have the money to socialise. Other reasons behind loneliness were the cost of rural transport and families living further apart in different areas of the country.
Rev Willimott is a Methodist minister for the north Norfolk circuit, and is also a trustee of the Cromer and District Foodbank which runs a drop-in café at the West Street church hall every Thursday.
“Loneliness is not just exclusive to older people. Younger people on benefits are also struggling. Most people on benefits live hand to mouth and an offer of a free cup of coffee is much appreciated. Mums with children can also feel quite isolated. The community café is a gift to anybody,” she added.
The new Community Café will use funds from the former monthly lunch club, which finished last year because its organisers could not carry it on. It is hoped the new lunchtime sessions will become self-funding as people can give donations for the dinners, if they want to.
Mrs Willimott said it was harder for some lunch clubs to continue because there were a lot of restrictions on funding for these types of groups.
The group can provide transport to and from the café which runs from 11.30am-1.30pm. Food is served from 12noon-1pm.
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