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Church plans new community cafe in south Norfolk town to tackle loneliness

At Wymondham Baptist Church's new Roots Community Cafe are, from left, Ramona Chenery, Gill Price, Vic Wright, Emma Smith and Alana Smith. Picture:  Courtesy Emma Smith

At Wymondham Baptist Church's new Roots Community Cafe are, from left, Ramona Chenery, Gill Price, Vic Wright, Emma Smith and Alana Smith. Picture: Courtesy Emma Smith

Archant

A new community cafe set up by a town’s church will offer a ‘safe, warm and welcoming place’ for people to take a break and chat.

Wymondham Baptist Church is planning to open Roots Community Cafe in a spare room at its Queen Street premises with the goal of helping people to connect with each other.

Emma Smith, project director, said the cafe had been developed in response to a ‘Who Cares’ research project the church undertook in 2013.

She said: “With the Who Cares survey and our own contact with the community, we have found that loneliness was overwhelmingly the need most commonly shared across all age groups and circumstances.

“That’s why we’re offering this cafe - as an affordable place for people to be around others.”

Church supporters have worked together to raise the money needed to launch the cafe, which will open for the first time on September 11.

The room has been converted into an attractive space that will be comfortable for everyone, including those with pushchairs and wheelchairs.

A children’s play area will also be available.

Ms Smith said the cafe was not intended to be competition for businesses in the town.

She said: “Our cafe is absolutely not here to draw custom away from the lovely cafes we have in Wymondham.

“We know that what some people are truly hungry for is the conversation - but we’re offering the cup of coffee and a slice of cake as a way of opening up that conversation.

“We are really looking forward to connecting with and meeting new people.”

Ms Smith said she was looking forward to the launch of the new venue, and said she hoped it would help build a stronger community in Wymondham and surrounds.

She said: “For now, we start simple - we all have in common a love for a bit of cake and a cuppa.

“We don’t know what will happen next, but we see Roots Community Cafe as nurturing the roots of peoples’ lives - so they are stronger and life will work better. WBC believe that serving our community is what God calls us to do, so we’re starting with opening our doors.”

For more information about the cafe, call the church on 01953 606520 or email office@wymondhambaptist.org

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