First anniversary

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Successful WiSE Owl Café celebrates its first birthday on Wednesday January 8 with a party for customers, volunteers and staff.

Initially set up to provide a warm and welcoming place for the over 60’s and their friends to meet, eat and socialise, the Café has gone from strength to strength in its bid to reduce social isolation and loneliness for the elderly.

During the course of the year a programme of activities has been introduced to include Zumba Gold exercise classes, knitting and poetry groups, music afternoons and monthly information and advice drop-in sessions.

Many regular visitors attend the activities on offer, while others are purely happy to socialise in the Café and make new friends.

Christine Hardman, who runs the Café with a team of over 40 volunteers, said: “We have a lovely atmosphere, with many friends and familiar faces.

“The Café is very much a community initiative and it’s a pleasure to be part of such a worthwhile venture.

“We have a delicious new menu including a choice of toasties and seasonal sandwiches, bacon baps, homemade soups and our newly introduced weekly hot savoury dish.

Winter opening hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the Café or would like to find out more about the services provided by WiSE can call Neil Bellamy, Project Manager on 01937 588994. Email or visit