Letters: Paula Hall, June 12, 2015

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I write in reference to the article which appeared in the Lynn News on Friday, May 29, regarding the changes at the café in Hillington Square.

The Purfleet Trust has worked in partnership with Freebridge Community Housing for the past 18 months developing a community café at the centre of Hillington Square. The aim was to establish a social enterprise that would provide opportunities for individuals to gain work experience via volunteering, and to generate an income stream that would be used to create a sustainable project in the area.

We have been able to achieve many of our original aims and the café has provided a forum and opportunities for individuals and community groups to meet and hold events that directly benefit people who live in the area.

Now, due to financial constraints, as well as competing claims on our resources, The Purfleet Trust is unable to continue to invest in and manage the café. Therefore we as an organisation have reluctantly had to withdraw from the project.

However, I am pleased to say that our joint efforts to create a sustainable community resource has been recognised and valued by Freebridge Community Housing and they have agreed to invest further in the project to take it to the next stage in its development. I am excited to see the café grow and we at Purfleet are proud to have been involved in creating such a valuable resource for the community.

We have continued to work with Freebridge to ensure a managed exit for Purfleet that will result in a seamless service being provided to the café’s customers from the end of June.

Paula Hall

Chief Executive, Purfleet Trust