A Hastings charity is celebrating the launch of the Cafe @Ore Community Café which is all set to help feed local people, provide a place for vulnerable adults to gain skills and have the chance to obtain employment.
Hastings Mayor cut the ribbon on the Cafe @Ore Community Café, which is run by the Education Futures Trust in association with the Ore Community Centre, on June 20.
The Education Futures Trust, based at The Firs, Elphinstone Road, supports over 3,000 people a year. Trust, CEO Carole Dixon says that figure is steadily rising due to the rapid increase in the cost of living.
“The Trust is involved in the Community Food Connection scheme that recruits and supports charities and community groups,” she said. “Linking them to Tesco stores via an innovative app that allows store teams to alert them to surplus unsold food items available at the end of each day.”
Carole says the Café @Ore helps deliver a valuable service to local residents. “It also provides an opportunity to engage with people in need,” she said. “It’s a starting point from where staff can begin to support families and help vulnerable adults gain the skills that move them closer to employment.”
Volunteers at the Trust had previously purchased food with money from their own pockets and/or local fundraising, until the charity signed up to be part of Tesco and FareShare’s Community Food Connection.
Carole says being able to serve healthy meals to local people makes a big difference. “We try to create a welcoming atmosphere at the cafe, and set our customers at ease. Once we have engaged with people over a meal, we are able to start to support them if needed, so that they are able to better manage the issues in their lives.
“Many of the people we help through our projects are already at crisis point. They are often facing challenges such as long-term unemployment, a lack of skills, mental health problems, homelessness and malnutrition.”
The Education Futures Trust aims to tackle food poverty in the area by providing healthy, nutritious food at a low cost for local people. It also runs a voucher scheme in connection with local schools to provide free meals for families in need and provides education and training for Education Futures Trust volunteers, in cookery and customer service as well as all aspects of running a community café.
The Education Futures Trust also runs an alternative provision during term time for secondary aged students from local schools.
For further information visit http://www.educationfuturestrust.org/