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Norfolk community café recognised for its work tackling loneliness

From left to right, Kevin Surtiss, representing the cafe users, Stephen Wright, from Independence Matters and also representing the volunteers, Bishop John Mills, and Sarah Butikofer. Picture: John Bishop

From left to right, Kevin Surtiss, representing the cafe users, Stephen Wright, from Independence Matters and also representing the volunteers, Bishop John Mills, and Sarah Butikofer. Picture: John Bishop

Archant

Loneliness is one of the main problems facing people in rural north Norfolk and a community café in Holt has won recognition for the work it does in tackling the problem in the community.

Holt Community Café was presented with a certificate for receiving an In Good Company quality mark.

In Good Company is a campaign to combat loneliness in Norfolk and help to ensure that no one in the county spends a lonely day if they don’t want to. The campaign is run by Norfolk County Council with more than 21 partners from the voluntary and statutory sector.”

It was presented by Norfolk county councillor for Holt, Sarah Butikofer on Thursday, February 15, during one of its community events.

The café was praised for creating and maintaining friendly spaces, tackling loneliness and other social issues.

Mrs Butikofer said: “When hearing about the community café it doesn’t really portray everything that these volunteers here do for the community.

“It is outstanding and I have been very taken by everything that happens here.

“I was particularly taken by the work of its Little Star knitting and sewing group, and its handicraft at making many items, garments and other work for the homeless, bereaved families of sleeping babies, dementia and so much more.”

The café, at Holt Community Centre in Kerridge Way, is attended by between 70 and 85 people regularly every Thursday, between 11.30am and 1.30pm, and is a hub of lively talk and nutritional, two-course food for which there is no charge, but many make donations.

The café has also been assessed and approved as a Place of Welcome, a national organisation whose primary aim is to ensure that every neighbourhood has places where people feel safe, belong, connect and contribute.

The wonderful volunteers have been praised for making the café a success together with donations made by the users and members of the community in Holt and district.

The café is always in need of volunteers and can be contacted on holtcommunitycafe@talktalk.net

People can find out more about the campaign and apply for the quality mark themselves – visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/ingoodcompany

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