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Volunteer appeal launched as Great Barton Freedom Café and church aim to become heart of the community

A Great Barton church and café aiming to be at the centre of its community is appealing for volunteers to help.

Jess Corbett has joined Freedom Church, in Mill Road, as its new community ministry leader, overseeing its Freedom Café – which is now open five days a week – and providing support to the community by facilitating events at the café and church building.

“Our vision is to be part of the community, a place of presence and a resource for others,” said Jess.

Jess Corbett, centre, with Lizi Long and Trevor Harrington inside the Freedom Cafe. Picture by Mark Westley.
Jess Corbett, centre, with Lizi Long and Trevor Harrington inside the Freedom Cafe. Picture by Mark Westley.

“What we really want is to be at the heart of the community, to be a community hub and became a useful resource – but we do need volunteers to help.”

She is launching an appeal for volunteers to help to staff the café so the building can host more groups and events, such as Bury St Edmunds Breastfeeding Support Group, which meets on Tuesdays; three popular toddler soft play groups on Wednesdays and art classes starting next month.

Over the past two years the church has undergone a transformation. It now boasts modern and comfortable interiors, the café area, a child-friendly room including a play area and toys, as well as a back hall.

Other events in the pipeline include family-friendly events during half-term, including a princess tea on October 30, followed by community fireworks on November 7.

On November 13, the church will host a Remembrance tea, open to the public in the morning while nearby care homes will be invited in the afternoon.

“I am so excited to start this role,” said Jess.

“I have come from a family business so this is a culture change for me and the excitement for it has overtaken me – what I am hoping to get out of this role is more than I could get from any other job.”

An event to officially launch Freedom Café is on September 25, with stalls featuring some of the groups using the building. The café is open now from 9am-4pm, Tuesday to Saturday.

To volunteer or for more information, email cafe@freedomchurch.org.uk or go to freedomchurch.org.uk

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