Wates Residential supports grand opening of Adur Community Café in Shoreham | Wates

Wates Residential has joined together with local labour agency, PSR Solutions to donate £500 and a package of employment support sessions to the Adur Community Café.

This donation will enable the café to open its doors to the Shoreham community and will be used to purchase essential equipment needed for set-up including a fridge and a freezer.

Wates Residential will also be delivering a number of employment and career insight workshops at the cafe in the future about the construction industry and careers available. These talks will be delivered by Wates Residential’s construction team currently undertaking a £24m investment programme at Free Wharf to increase flood defences on behalf of Southern Housing Group. This scheme is designed to support a future waterfront development of 540 new homes.

The ‘pay as you wish’ model adopted by Adur Community café is the brainchild of local resident, Catherine Arnold who set up the venture to ensure every member of the community has the opportunity to enjoy a nutritious meal and pay only what they can afford.

Another important aim of the café is to help ease loneliness, particularly for older residents, single parents or single living people who may be struggling, particularly after the Government’s recent lockdown.

The location of the café, on Rectory Road, has been selected for its above average number of nearby, low-income households and elderly residents in comparison to the rest of the district.

Staffed entirely by volunteers from the local community, the café will operate as a non-profit organisation with the aim of offering a safe space for local people to connect and enjoy a meal out, particularly those whose current financial situation may not ordinarily allow for this.

Any profit generated will be used to purchase new equipment or will be donated to the local foodbank.

Opened on 20 September, the community café will operate with a takeaway service in order to adhere to Government guidelines on social distancing. Plans will switch to operate as an eat-in restaurant once restrictions are lifted, with the takeaway, and eat-in service run by a certified chef offering hearty, healthy meals including casseroles and soups, served on Sundays from 4pm – 5pm.

Local donations have also allowed the café to bring forward its opening date from October so that it can further support families by supplying hot lunches for those entitled to free school meals while some, local schools remain unable to provide this service during term time.

All food is donated by FareShare, an organisation that redistributes surplus food to charities to turn into meals. The menu is then published on Adur Community Café’s Facebook page on Saturday at 10.30am and takeaway meals can be ordered over the phone or in person during operating hours on a Sunday.

The venue on Rectory Road, Shoreham allows for large group sittings and will eventually hold music nights and inspirational talks for the community to enjoy, in addition to offering free resources and games such as ping-pong.

Wates Residential has committed to providing training and employment opportunities and supporting local charities and community groups as part of its presence in the local area. To date this has included a free two-week ‘Building Futures’ employment and construction skills course for unemployed adults looking for a career kick-start in the industry.

In December 2019, Wates Residential also donated over £200 worth of items, including food and hygiene products, to the Shoreham Foodbank and help them through the busy festive period.

Lee Bushell, Operations Director for Wates Residential said:

“Through our support to local charities and organisations like the Adur Community Café, we are proud to be creating opportunities for the local community to come together, seek support and connect with one another during a time where many may be struggling financially or suffering from the effects of social isolation.

We are committed to leaving a positive lasting legacy for the people of Shoreham through our presence on the Free Wharf site and look forward to continuing to build long-term partnerships with local organisations, such as Adur Community Café, which deliver such valuable work.”

Catherine Arnold, Founder of the Adur Community Café, said:

“The café and takeaway were formed because of the huge increase in food poverty nationally and locally. Of late, this increase comes from Covid related redundancies. We know people of all ages in our community are going hungry, but some are often too proud to share this. We didn’t want money to get in the way of a basic need, hence the “pay-what-you-can-afford” model.

Donations like this one make all the difference to us and allowed us to set-up quickly to get the much-needed help to our community. Our team are very thankful indeed.”

Julian King, Regional Director, South for PSR Solutions, said:

“PSR Solutions has recently opened a new division, PSR Build a Career. This division was opened to realise our goal to add value to our recruitment support for the construction industry and our clients through social enterprise projects such as our partnership with Wates and the Adur Community Café. These partnerships are an important part of our ethos to give back and progress the communities in which we work and play.

Construction projects bring much needed jobs and infrastructre to local communities who may have socially disadvantaged residents who need additional support and guidance. Projects such as the Adur Community Café will give us the opportunity to engage with the local community and give them advice and guidance on how to improve their lives and wellbeing. It was an honour to be part of something that will have a positive impact on the local community.”

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