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How this life-line cafe was saved from closure

PUBLISHED: 12:40 29 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 29 October 2020

Sammie Qasenivalu and Chloe Johnson. The Thurst Coffee Shop in Thurston has re-opened  Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Sammie Qasenivalu and Chloe Johnson. The Thurst Coffee Shop in Thurston has re-opened Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Charlotte Bond

A charity-run cafe saved on the brink of closure has reopened to a joyous community in west Suffolk.

Green Party councillor Wendy Turner, who donated £3,000 to keep the cafe open  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDGreen Party councillor Wendy Turner, who donated £3,000 to keep the cafe open Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Thurst Cafe in the New Green Centre, Thurston, is again serving coffees with a smile to locals, after spending a month closed with its future hanging in the balance.

The cafe, run by charity the New Green Community Trust, officially reopened on Saturday, October 17, after the economic hardship brought on by the coronavirus pandemic forcing its doors shut at the end of August.

However with the help of local councillors, a £6,000 lifeline of funding was secured through their locality budgets to help keep the “important” community asset open to the public.

One of the two councillors to help raise the money, Green councillor Wendy Turner, said the support the cafe provides to both young and elderly people is “integral” to the village.

Francese Harding, Sue Peagram and Ann Palmer enjoying a drink in the refurbished cafe  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDFrancese Harding, Sue Peagram and Ann Palmer enjoying a drink in the refurbished cafe Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

Ms Turner said: “I’m so happy that the cafe has remained open and that new volunteers have come forward to help run it.

“The cafe is an integral part of the community and used by young families and elderly people alike, which has been so important during the pandemic.”

Conservative councillor Harry Richardson also donated £3,000 to the effort, citing the “fantastic” opportunities the cafe provides in keeping villagers connected. Suffolk County Councillor Penny Otton also supported the campaign.

Paul Wade, chairman of the New Green Community Trust, added: “Trustees and volunteers have put in a lot of work to be able to re-open and in particular I would like to thank the Button family for many hours of hard work.

Charity chairman Paul Wade and vice chairman Roger Smith  Picture: CHARLOTTE BONDCharity chairman Paul Wade and vice chairman Roger Smith Picture: CHARLOTTE BOND

“I hope the community will rally round and support us.”

The cafe also boasts a new seasonal menu, including the ever-popular pumpkin spiced latte and vegan options – complete with vegan cream.

It also serves light bites from jacket potatoes to toasties – as well as trendy options such as smashed avocado on toast.

Earlier this week the cafe hosted its first dog day, where customers can bring their furry friends with them for a sweet treat every Thursday from 10am to 2pm.

The five-star Tripadvisor rated cafe is open six days a week from 10am to 2pm, with extended hours on Mondays and Wednesdays until 4pm.


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