Police grant marks café out as a Force for Good

Holt and District Community Cafe founder Rev Bishop John Mills (back right, seated) with cafe users

Holt and District Community Cafe founder Rev Bishop John Mills (back right, seated) with cafe users and volunteers. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A weekly club providing hot food and friendship has a more secure future after being given a £300 Police Mutual Assurance Society Force for Good Award.

Holt and District Community Cafe cook Carolyn Burn with volunteer Steven Burns, who is a member of H

Holt and District Community Cafe cook Carolyn Burn with volunteer Steven Burns, who is a member of Holt Community Hub's Independence Matters initiative, Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Holt and District Community Café, which runs at the town community centre every Thursday, was started a year ago by a group of local Christians headed by former Essex police inspector Bishop John Mills, who preaches at Briston, Wells-next-the-Sea and Holt.

It has since gone from strength to strength and now serves up free two-course lunches cooked by local woman Carolyn Burn and a team of volunteers to up to 65 people every week.

'We wanted to do something for the community,' Bishop John explained. 'Particularly for those who are either economically or socially deprived, suffering from ill health or mental illness, or who are just plain lonely.'

The café, which is run on a drop-in basis by an eight-strong committee and around 20 volunteers, was given a kick-start with a £500 grant from Holt town council, with other local business pitching in, including Allards butchers, which provides meat at cost price, Just Add Grapes, which gives regular donations of gluten-free pies and quiches and a local funeral directors, which has helped out by buying tea and coffee for the café.

Holt and District Community Cafe regulars wait to be served a hearty, home-cooked lunch. Picture: KA

Holt and District Community Cafe regulars wait to be served a hearty, home-cooked lunch. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Holt and District Community Cafe runs at Holt community centre on Thursdays from 10.30am - 2pm. Phone 01263 710252.

Holt and District Community Cafe volunteer Mandy Veal giving sewing tips to a cafe user. Picture: KA

Holt and District Community Cafe volunteer Mandy Veal giving sewing tips to a cafe user. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

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