For the last three months Secret Canteen has been contributing time and resources to baking fresh cakes and plant- based food for Repton Connect Community Centre, in the heart of Ashford. The collaboration seeks to offer subsidised food to local people as part of the Repton Connects Barrista Buddies cafe which supports people with learning disabilities to learn real-time hospitality skills for the workplace.
The cafe offers a place for the community to come and have a chat, enjoy a slice of cake and socialise, thus reducing social isolation. However, with local restrictions being tightened over November and into December we wanted to ensure that we could still offer a little something for people to look forward to. It was clear to us that with purse strings being tightened and less access to homecooked, affordable food Barista Buddies could provide an affordable solution. With contributions from local organic farms the Secret Canteen chefs have been turning wonderful ingredients into warming winter pasties for the local community, with all proceeds going back into the project. Our "Fancy Fridays" offer a takeaway service of fresh, homemade cakes and savoury treats all at a price that means no one has to miss out.
"Everyone deserves a little treat from time to time, whether it's grabbing a pasty for the kids tea so you don't have to cook, or treating yourself to a slice of cake it all helps. We need these little everyday things to keep us going and I love how much of an impact it's had on the local community in just a few short months." - said Laura from Secret Canteen, "December and January are going to be really tough for a lot of families and it is our hope that we will be able to use the community centre to provide lunches throughout the Christmas holidays. Not just something to fill tummies but something cooked with local ingredients, prepared with love and care for everybody, no matter the circumstances" .
From cakes to lunches this collaboration hopes to offer the community a little bit joy over the coming weeks and months and a place to help keep people going in the most challenging of times. Repton Connect Community Centre are also developing a 'give as you can' concept for Barista Buddies in the New Year.
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