A new community café, serving great home cooked food has opened at Bulwell Children’s Centre.

Crabtree Community CAFÉ not only serves food but it gives local people the chance to come and get advice and help. They’ve teamed up with Welfare Rights, who run sessions along with the Job Centre.

People in the local community can also go there for nutrition workshops with Love Food, Hate Waste, who help people to make their food go further and throw less away.

Crabtree Community CAFÉ (which stands for Community Advice For Everyone) is open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11.30am to 2.30pm and offers cheap and tasty food each week.

The centre has big plans for the future, including setting up coffee mornings or luncheons for the elderly, with a spot of bingo too! There could be more cookery courses as the success of the café grows.

The café is run by volunteer Maria Shakespeare. Well known around Bulwell, Maria is the Chair of the Tenants’ and Residents’ Association. She wanted to try to bring the community together again and approached the Children’s Centre to open the kitchen at their site.

Maria said: “We don’t just feed people. The idea is to appeal to as many people as we can and to see that we have so much to offer them. All of our staff go on training courses in First Aid, Health and Safety and Food Hygiene and we’ve got our Food Hygiene 5 rating so we’re really pleased with that.”

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years, said: “Having a café in the Bulwell Children’s Centre will give local people a great opportunity to come together socially to share a hot meal and get any advice or support they may need.

“Our Early Help Services at the Children’s Centre have already been helping some families in need by giving them food bank vouchers and in the future cooked meal vouchers may also be introduced.

“This scheme will provide a way for the local community to come together and will mean that people in serious need receive the most basic of needs, a healthy and satisfying hot meal.”

Daron Barnes, who works at the Children’s Centre, said: “This is a massive asset to the Children’s Centre and I’m happy and excited that we have this in our community. It’s a great way of breaking down barriers, and the community here is so diverse it’s also a good way to learn more about each other.

“We try and run the café when the adult learning courses are on, and we want everyone to pop in, even if it’s just to sit for a while.”