King’s Lynn town centre cafe steps up role in community

The Community Cafe at Hillington Square.
LtoR, Sarah Cummins (Cafe Manager), Robert Clarke (Freebridge Director of Housing), Lisa Ellis (Cafe Assistant), with cup cakes, Costa Coffee and Sausage Rolls, all made at the cafe.
Missing from Picture is Luke Foster (Cafe Supervisor) ANL-160419-150241009
The Community Cafe at Hillington Square. LtoR, Sarah Cummins (Cafe Manager), Robert Clarke (Freebridge Director of Housing), Lisa Ellis (Cafe Assistant), with cup cakes, Costa Coffee and Sausage Rolls, all made at the cafe. Missing from Picture is Luke Foster (Cafe Supervisor) ANL-160419-150241009
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A cafe set up as part of the £30 million regeneration scheme of Lynn’s Hillington Square has become an important focal point for the community.

Such is its success that it has expanded its services, developed delivery rounds of food and drinks to venues and businesses across the town centre neighbourhood and has established itself as a popular meeting point.

The Community Cafe, which operates on a not-for-profit basis, was taken over by Freebridge Community Housing in August last year, having first started out in 2013 as the Olive Branch run in conjunction with the Purfleet Trust.

Last summer it also formed a partnership with Costa Coffee.

Director of housing for Freebridge, Robert Clarke, said: “The cafe has become a social hub where people can meet and it’s a focal point for Hillington Square residents. It’s an ideal place for new tenants to drop in and meet other people from the community.

“During the school holidays, there’s a kids’ club where children can go along and take part in arts and crafts activities. It’s also used by visitors from the Forward Day Centre, and more and more people are starting to drop in using the cafe as a meeting point.

“One of the reasons for its success is that prices are affordable and it offers real value for money for customers.”

Regular deliveries go to places such as Juniper House and the Providence Street Centre, which Freebridge bought two years ago. The Community Cafe employs three full time staff, cafe manager Sarah Cummins, assistant Lisa Ellis and supervisor Luke Foster.