A COMMUNITY café in Upper Beeding celebrated its first anniversary on Tuesday.
The Hub Café in Upper Beeding Baptist Church in Church Lane is run by Vicki Butchers who co-ordinates the volunteers.
“It has grown loads and it’s been very exciting to see the progression,” said Mrs Butchers.
The team of volunteers has grown from six to around 35 over the course of a year, and the cafe now opens on Saturdays as well as weekday mornings, helped by teenage volunteers who also lend a hand in the school holidays.
It hosts a number of community events, including Half-Term Hubbub for large groups of children and families, a youth group on Monday nights and Carols in the Café over Christmas.
“If that’s what we have done from nothing in a year, imagine what we could have by this time next year,” said Mrs Butchers.
“I really enjoy seeing something work in the same space for all generations.
“We have babies in there at the same time as seniors and it works. It’s actually a true community space.
“Even though it’s being run by the church, it’s not a place where we are bible bashing people.
“It comes out of our Christian ethos but that’s not our motivation. People walk in and they don’t even realise they are in a church.”
Regular customer Faye Hermon, 38, said: “I totally love this cafe - it’s my second home. The coffee is amazing, the cakes are truly scrumptious and the staff are wonderful.
“Before the cafe opened we didn’t have anywhere like this in Upper Beeding and now it really is the heart of our community. The kids love it and they are always so welcome here. I’d be lost without it.”
Another regular, Pauline Mhadheloi, 68, said: “The Hub is a great centre for all ages to meet for coffee and a chat. “Wednesday evenings also holds a craft session. People bring their latest project, knitting, needlecraft, rag rugs, and if you can’t think of what to make, somebody will help out with an idea. The Hub is therefore the hub of the community.”
The Hub Café is open from 9am to 12pm Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays from 10am to 12pm.
Crafty Coffee is on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm.