Community Café aims to combat loneliness

A community café has opened in Rougham as part of a village initiative designed to combat loneliness and isolation.

Backed with a locality grant from St Edmundsbury Borough Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, the Hedgehogs Café is open every Friday during the school term from 10am to 1.30pm at Rougham Sports Hall.

Eleanor Delport, organiser of Hedgehogs Café said: “The community cafe is aimed at people who are retired, young parents at home with babies and toddlers, part time workers and people who work from home.

“We wanted to create somewhere where residents that live in Rougham and the surrounding villages, can come to meet new people and make new friends.

“Our aim is to help combat loneliness and isolation as well as reinforce that sense of community and belonging. I am very grateful to the consistent support of Cllr Mildmay-White and the hard work of volunteers from Kingsgate Church, who have made this possible.”

The £400 of funding from Cllr Mildmay-White has helped pay for the start-up costs for the community café to run up until Christmas after which it is hoped it will have enough people regularly using it for it to become self sustaining.

Cllr Mildmay-White, who represents the Rougham ward said: “Having worked in the NHS for many years before I retired, I’ve seen first hand the detrimental impact that loneliness and isolation can have on people’s physical and mental health. That’s why rural initiatives such as this are so important and why I am delighted to be able to help it get set up. Rougham is a great village with a very supportive community and anything that helps people feel even more a part of it by reinforcing that sense of friendship and belonging, can only be a good thing.”

For more on the Hedgehogs Community Café visit or search for them on Facebook at /hedgehogscafelimited