grub will help tackle poverty

A new community café that provides low cost, or even free, food in Horden is proving a hit thanks to funding from one of the region’s largest affordable housing providers.

With breakfast costing just 50p and tea just £1, the volunteer run ‘Hub Grub Community Café’ has been created to offer advice and support for local residents as well as good food.

The project is the brainchild of East Durham Trust and has been made possible thanks to more than £4,500 of funding from County Durham Housing Group.

Based in Horden Youth and Community Centre on Eden Street, the café is an informal and friendly space that offers a warm welcome, as well as warm food. It has been designed to look like any normal café, to avoid any stigma of using the facilities. Local people with specific needs can even be referred to the café for free meals, but will be treated exactly the same as paying customers.

The cafe is opening initially on Monday mornings and Thursday afternoons, as research has shown that there is the greatest need for extra provision in the Horden area.

Volunteers have all been recruited from the local community and have received extensive training in food hygiene as well as cooking and preparing meals. All of the skills learned by the volunteers are easily transferable to their home lives, or even into employment.

Some of the volunteers will also be trained to provide advice in areas such as budgeting and accessing Universal Credit so that they can offer extra support to anyone who comes into the café.

County Durham Housing Group Community Investment Officer, Kimberley Batey, said: “A good meal can make a huge difference to the whole day, but we know that so many families struggle with the cost, and often the logistics, of preparing healthy food. When we heard from East Durham Trust about their ideas for this project, we knew that we’d be very keen to support it.

“The volunteers are so enthusiastic and have learned so much already. The café is going to make a huge difference during the average week, and even more so during school holidays when many families struggle with the cost of food.”

The café serves breakfast every Monday from 9am to 10am, and tea every Thursday from 4pm to 5pm.

East Durham Trust Chief Executive Malcolm Fallow said: “This initiative ticks all of the boxes when it comes to supporting communities – as well as providing a nutritious meal we are also improving social engagement in a traditional local venue. We commend County Durham Housing Group for providing the funding to help make this happen”

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