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Three cheers for Darwen's new community hub cafe
ORGANISERS of the town centre’s first community cafe have been praised after it opened at the weekend.
Darwen’s mayor Eileen Entwistle said the Cafe Hub would be a ‘major asset’ for local people when she opened the Foundry Street venue on Saturday.
Attendees celebrated the arrival of the alternative late evening centre with live music, food and karaoke.
The social enterprise was created by a group of social workers to provide a safe alcohol and drug-free environment and to help those struggling to get back to work.
One of the founders, Melanie Cowan, said she hoped the cafe would also provide somewhere for community groups and encourage low cost healthy eating.
Melanie, who works as a transition and reintegration worker for substance misusers at Evolve in Blackburn, said: “Myself and a group of colleagues came up with the idea around one year ago to promote health and wellbeing in the town.
“We were lucky to receive a lottery grant which has helped us hire three paid staff who had been struggling to find work and enroll six volunteers on NVQ courses at ACROSS College.
“We want to get people active and give them educational opportunities.”
She added: “Any money we make from the cafe will be put into a scheme to start a meals-on-wheels service in Darwen for the elderly and financially struggling families.”
Sudell ward Labour councillor Mrs Entwistle said: “I’m really impressed with the place and it’s the first of its kind in the area. It offers people an important evening alternative and will only improve community spirit.
“It’s also great that they have done something positive with a building that had been empty for quite some time.”
Cafe Hub is open from 3pm to 10pm, Wednesday to Friday, and noon to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.
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