Big Lottery Fund
Mayor opens community café to tackle loneliness
A community café in Hereford opened its doors for the first time this weekend, thanks to support from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
Saxon Hall’s new community café was officially opened by Mayor Sue Boulter on Saturday (6 October), providing a safe and friendly place for local people to meet together and socialise. This was made possible thanks to £9,000 of National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund, which was awarded last month.
Around 70 people attended the grand opening on Hoarwithy Road and enjoyed a selection of teas, coffees and homemade cakes, whilst being entertained by local dance group, The Dolloway Dancers, who performed a 1940s style dance.
Not only will the new café bring the local community together to help reduce isolation and loneliness, Saxon Hall has also partnered with local charity, ECHO, to provide volunteering opportunities for people with learning disabilities. This will support them to learn new skills in cookery, food hygiene, cash handling and customer relations.
Victoria Craig, Centre Manager at Saxon Hall, said: “We’re so excited to open our first community café and it’s all thanks to National Lottery players. It will help tackle loneliness by providing a warm and welcoming space for people to socialise, as well as support those with learning disabilities to gain work experience. We hope our café will be a focal point for people to enjoy, bring different groups together and help keep community spirit alive.
“I’d also like to thank Jackie Savage from the Co-op Council who has helped to open our café, by volunteering to support and promote the project through the Co-op’s forum and local stores.”
Saxon Hall provides support and activities to the local community including dance classes, meditation sessions, exercise classes, an afternoon club for older people and a stay and play group for babies, children and families. There are also many support groups, including a group for veterans, and a community garden open to the public seven days a week. Rooms at the community centre can be hired for parties, wedding receptions and conferences.
The Mayor of Hereford, Sue Boulter, said: “It was fantastic to be part of the café’s opening event and I really enjoyed meeting staff from Saxon Hall, volunteers from ECHO and people from the local community. I run a luncheon club myself in Whitecross for elderly people, so I’m delighted that this café has opened. It’s been so inspiring to see local people come together for what I’m sure will be a vital space in Hereford. I wish Saxon Hall every success in the future.”
Matt Poole, Head of Regional Funding for the Midlands at the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We’re delighted to be funding this new community café, which is about providing the local community with a place where they can come together to meet new friends and learn new skills. After consulting with local people, Saxon Hall has identified loneliness and isolation as a particular concern and have taken steps to tackle it. This is a fantastic example of people using their ambitions and aspirations to create something wonderful for their local community.”
The Big Lottery Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Last year it awarded over half a billion pounds and supported over 11,000 projects across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. 90% of the grants it makes are for under £10,000. To find out more visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk
Abbey Hartley: Abigail.Hartley@biglotteryfund.org.uk, 0121 345 8892
Press Office: 020 7211 1888
Out of hours media contact: 07867 500572
Notes to Editors:
The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £9 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.
Latest News from
Big Lottery Fund
£3.4 million National Lottery funding to improve wellbeing in communities across Wales14/01/2021 12:38:00
Additional support will be made available to improve wellbeing and mental health as we cautiously welcome the new year, thanks to more than £3.4 million National Lottery funding announced today in Wales.
New research highlights the importance of communities and identifies loneliness as a key issue13/01/2021 16:20:00
New research out from The National Lottery Community Fund, reveals that the pandemic has helped people see the benefits of being part of their local community and sparked a desire to be more involved in 2021.
2021: importance of communities set to remain high as people identify loneliness and isolation as a key issue to tackle in their local area12/01/2021 14:10:00
New research out today from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, shows that the pandemic has helped to reignite people’s interest in their local community and sparked a desire to be more involved in 2021.
£3m National Lottery funding, a welcome Christmas present for communities23/12/2020 14:20:00
The National Lottery Community Fund yesterday announced over £3 million of grants to 162 community projects, based in every Council area in Northern Ireland.
London community action groups receive £1.3 million National Lottery funding to reach grassroot groups on frontline of COVID response18/12/2020 14:33:00
The National Lottery Community Fund yesterday announced it is working alongside a number of expertly-placed funding programmes in London to ensure more than £1.3 million of National Lottery funding is delivered to communities most vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19.
£4 million of National Lottery funding helps Scottish Families get vital support17/12/2020 14:43:00
Scottish families facing loss, isolation or loneliness are amongst those benefiting from a £4 million cash boost from The National Lottery Community Fund announced today (THURSDAY 17 DECEMBER).
‘We’ve had to learn to be resourceful, whilst helping our community to do the same’: The Cornish charities bringing people together, thanks to £13.5 million of National Lottery funding15/12/2020 14:33:00
New figures released yesterday revealed that over £13.5 million has gone to community groups across Cornwall this year*, thanks to National Lottery players.
‘This year people have opened up to each other…we want that to continue’: The Devon organisations supporting their community, thanks to National Lottery Funding14/12/2020 13:38:00
New figures released today reveal that nearly £1.5 million has gone to community groups across Devon this year, thanks to National Lottery players.
‘We had to catapult ourselves into the unknown’: How one Bristol charity cooked over 17,000 meals for those hit hardest by COVID-1911/12/2020 11:43:00
New figures released yesterday reveal that nearly £7.5 million has gone to community groups across Bristol this year*, thanks to National Lottery players.