Thetford community cafe relaunches to serve estate

The Keystone Trust opens the Abbey Cafe at the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre in Thetford after receivin

The Keystone Trust opens the Abbey Cafe at the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre in Thetford after receiving funding from Breckland Council and the Celia Della Hoy Croxton Trust.l-r Ricky Aylott, building manager, Mayor, Terry Jermy, Cafe Supervisor Nikki McKenzie, William Nunn, Chief Exec of Keystone Trust Louise Humphries. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Community engagement is back on the menu at an estate cafe after it reopened its doors.

The Abbey Community Cafe, in Exeter Way, Thetford, was officially reopened on Wednesday after volunteer help brought it back to life.

The relaunch came about after the Keystone Trust, owner of the Abbey Neighbourhood Centre, asked local people what they would like to see in the building.

When residents asked for the cafe to return after a five year break, Keystone sought funding from Breckland Council and the Cynthia Della Hoy Croxton Charity to fund the revamp and a member of staff.

Now tea, coffee, cake and hot and cold lunches are all available from 9am to 2pm from Tuesday to Thursday.

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Louise Humphries, Keystone chief executive, said the cafe will offer an essential hub for the community.

'We want to get a bank of volunteers and maybe an apprentice here to keep it running, and give people an opportunity to get back into work and build their CV.

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'We are on the cusp of a real opportunity to get people learning new skills and getting qualifications, such as food hygiene, and getting references.

'There's a captive audience here and it's right in the heart of the estate, with not a lot else going on, so it was really important to get the cafe back up and running,' she said.

Around £5,000 of capital funding has been spent on the cafe.

Wednesday's opening event saw Terry Jermy, mayor of Thetford, and William Nunn, leader of Breckland Council attend.

Is your group doing something for the community? Let us know by emailing or by calling our Thetford office on 01842 752510.

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