The Community Café based in the Primary Care Centre has been taken over thanks to Community360 who are stepping in to run and manage the café.
The café has been run by the Colchester League of Hospital and Community Friends for several years but due to Covid-19 and other factors the organisation has taken the decision to no longer run the facility.
Community360 are already well known in the hospital running the Home from Hospital and Befriending Service and after meeting with the Colchester League of Hospital Friends felt they could support the group to transition out with minimal disruption to the current service and staff. Other partners are keen to develop a new community hub space in this neighbourhood, whilst continuing to run the café.
Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: “We were saddened by the news of our colleagues at CLHCF and the demise that Covid has had on their amazing service over the years, and reached out to see how we could help and support them. We are delighted that many partners have seen the benefit of C360 leading this new hub initiative, when the timing is right. With the support of the CLHCF and others we are delighted to have been able to take over the Community Café. We will be keeping on the 4 staff that were employed and manage the volunteers too. We see this as a collaboration between the Colchester League of Hospital Friends and ourselves, and moving forward we have further plans to develop the area into a Partnership Community Hub, a place where people can come and have a cup of tea as well as giving us the opportunity to meet people and show them what other services the NEE Alliance can offer around early intervention and prevention programmes.”
Frank Jordan, Chairman of The Colchester League of Hospital Friends said: “The Colchester League of Friends have been successfully operating the café at the Primary Care Centre for a number of years but the downturn in trade at both the PCC and our shops at the main hospital have forced the Trustees to close all their outlets. This decision was not easily taken but the introduction of the new retail shops at the hospital together with the effects of Covid 19 has made the whole business unviable.”
He added: “We are very sad to be leaving but pleased that another charity will be taking over at the Primary Care Centre. Community 360 have great plans, not only for the shop, but also to create a community hub at the centre. I wish them all the best for the future. I am sure that we are leaving it in good hands.”
The League of Hospital Friends is a charitable organisation that works with Colchester Hospitals to help provide additional equipment to benefit patients.
The League has over 200 members with about 120 of them active volunteers. It has a board of directors whose members are the Trustees of the Charity.
Community360 will be welcoming visitors to the café from Monday 9th November. Opening hours are 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.