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Friendly volunteer-run community café reopens

Hobson’s Community Café, based at Allama Iqbal Centre on Cromwell Road, welcomed back customers this week. 
hobson's cfae
Hobson's cafe run by volunteers Janet and Hameeda has reopened back at Allama Iqbal Centre on Cromwell Road

Star chef Janet Haygan, 84, with support from fellow volunteer Hameeda, has expanded her menu this time with all-day breakfast, freshly baked cakes, toasties and jacket potatoes. 

The volunteer-run café is even offering halal food and is open Tuesday to Thursday, between 8.30am and 2pm. 

The aim of the café is not 'just to serve quality food at reasonable prices', but to offer a safe and social space for anyone who wants to chat or make friends. 

The Iqbal Centre organizes several social activities including a coffee morning on a Thursday each week to beat loneliness and isolation within the community. 

The café was popular with regular centre visitors who were “guaranteed delicious cakes and a great conversation” during their visit. 

However, like many other venues, the friendly café had to close due to the pandemic and has only reopened this week. 

Janet said: “I am excited to be back. I enjoy myself here. I feel like it gives me something to do and look forward to the conversations with the customers and people here at the centre.” 

The café is also taking phone orders for dine-in and takeaways. You can place your order on 01733 756 275 

The centre has also set up a breakfast club on Tuesday and Wednesday, to support families with school-age children from within the area. 

It received funding to set up this service for six weeks starting from January 11, after reports of children going hungry to school from the local community. 

Between 7.45 and 8.20am on Tuesday and Wednesday, a mixture of hot and cold breakfasts are served to children free of charge. 

Uptake in the first week has been low, but the centre will continue to run the club each week for the next six weeks. 

The café will be open from 8.30am after the breakfast club, if parents want to order hot drinks. 

The centre is also in need of a reliable caretaker for six hours a week.

It will include key holding duties, general maintenance, grounds maintenance and assisting with chairs and tables for events. This is a paid position. If you are interested, get in touch on 01733 756 275