December 10 2013 Latest news:
Opening of a new community cafe on Hillington Square in King's Lynn. From left, Cafe Training Academy Manager Darren Broughton, Purfleet Trust Chief Exec Paula Hall and Freebridge MD Tony Hall. Picture; Matthew Usher.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A community café has opened as part of the major redevelopment of a King’s Lynn housing estate.
The Olive Branch Community Cafe at Hillington Square officially opened its doors and its kitchens to the public at an opening ceremony yesterday.
It is hoped that the facility, which is in the former community centre, will become a hub for community activities and it has already become the site for new opportunities.
In partnership with the Purfleet Trust, the café is being used to give people a chance to get back into work and learn valuable skills and qualifications.
The café is part of a £30m redevelopment by Freebridge Community Housing to regenerate the Hillington Square area.
Tony Hall, chief executive of Freebridge, said: “We see this as an important part of the redevelopment.
“The redevelopment will be bringing the flats up to a modern standard and we want it to be a place where people want to live.
“As part of that we recognise that we also need to build a community and that is what the café will do.
“It is a place where people can meet their neighbours on neutral ground, share knowledge and relax.”
Staff from Marks and Spencers King’s Lynn’s café have been working with volunteers in the Olive Branch café to help them gain skills which can help them into employment.
Paula Hall, chief executive of homeless peoples’ charity The Purfleet Trust, said: “The whole concept is helping people who are vulnerable and have been excluded from other schemes.
“We are helping people who are furthest away from the jobs market.
“We are working with Freebridge because you need to plan some opportunity for this group for them to feel stable in their home.
“We are clearly demonstrating that working in partnership is the way forward.”
The café will sell a variety of refreshments including sandwiches, paninis, homemade cakes and cooked breakfasts as well as hot drinks.
As part of Hillington Square’s redevelopment, the estate will be opened out with new walkways being built.