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Community comes together for Big Lunch to prevent social isolation

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:59 01 July 2018

The Big Lunch held at Sams Café in Kessingland. Picture: Access Community Trust.

The Big Lunch held at Sams Café in Kessingland. Picture: Access Community Trust.

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A charity which opened a community café in Kessingland to bring together members of the community has held its first Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch held at Sams Café in Kessingland. Picture: Access Community Trust. The Big Lunch held at Sams Café in Kessingland. Picture: Access Community Trust.

Access Community Trust opened Sams Café in Marram Green in October last year, providing a hub to build and embrace community spirit through relaxing and chatting over a hot meal and a coffee.

The café has proved to be a very popular addition to Kessingland and is rapidly becoming the heartbeat of the community.

To celebrate this, and to help move forwards in engaging those in the community who may be socially isolated, Access Community Trust, Waveney District Council and Kessingland Parish Council came together to organise #The Big Lunch.

With more than 30 older people in attendance, the day was supported by Kessingland Primary Academy who brought 26 pupils across to the café to eat their packed lunched with the older visitors and to sing some songs to them.

Antony Parke, customer and commercial projects manager for Access Community Trust, said: “#The Big Lunch seemed a perfect way of targeting those with hidden needs in and around the Kessingland area and to bring together people into what is the heartbeat of the community.

“The fact that we were so eagerly supported by both Waveney District Council and Kessingland Parish Council made this fantastic day at the café something which we will look to repeat on a regular basis. The excellent support from Kessingland Primary Academy was very much the icing on the cake.”

Sarah Smith, deputy headteacher at Kessingland Primary, said: “It is a wonderful project to bring the local community together and it was a privilege to be part of it. Our children and staff were also buzzing when they came back to school. They loved the opportunity to meet with the residents and hear their stories and look forward to repeating it.”

Access Community Trust is interested to hear from people who know of those over 55 who can benefit from more social interaction, and anyone willing to volunteer to form part of the support on the day.

For further information call Amberley Spillings at Access Community Trust on 01502 527200.

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