Successful start for About With Friends charity café in Cromer

PUBLISHED: 10:36 06 June 2014 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 June 2014

Cromer Pier Oliver final night. Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMI

Cromer Pier Oliver final night. Picture: ANDREAS YIASIMI


A charity cafe which has become a popular spot for holidaymakers and residents hopes to offer jobs to adults with learning disabilities next year following its successful launch.

The About With Friends cafe, opposite Cromer Parish Church, only opened in March but has gone from strength to strength.

It is run by three adults, supported by the charity, mentors and two managers seven days a week.

All proceeds go back into About With Friends - based on Holt Road in Cromer - set up 12 years ago to teach children, young people and adults with learning disabilities work and life skills.

Helen Dalton-Hare, founder and chief executive of About With Friends, said: “We want this cafe to be what this community wants it to be. We have no fixed ideas but masses of enthusiasm. It has been fantastic.

“Members that were lacking in confidence are now working with the public. We are getting people trained up and allowing them to work. Our greatest wish is for our members to be working in the community. They want to be respected for what they do in the community.”

As well as dealing with money and serving food, the About With Friends users help cook the food.

Miss Dalton-Hare did not know how many jobs would be available but hoped the cafe would become financially sustainable by next year.

Other ambitions include opening seven days a week in the winter months, working with other businesses to boost trade out of the main tourist season, setting up a befriending service for single people and working with dementia sufferers.

“We have become a safe place for people who are anxious,” Miss Dalton-Hare added.

Outside of the cafe, the charity wants to expand its work supporting adults with learning disabilities in supported living.

The charity is partly funded by donations and it received £2,000 from the Cromer and Sheringham Operatic and Dramatic Society, raised through proceeds from its Oliver show.

For more information on About With Friends or to register an interest in volunteering visit, email or call 01263 515230.

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