Café staff at the Ridgewood Community Centre in Yate warn 'use us or lose us'

First published in News Gazette Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury

CUSTOMERS are being urged to use or lose a community café in Yate.

Staff at the Ridgewood Community Centre café said they need more custom if they are to keep the facility open.

Anne-Marie Cook, manager of the community centre, said: “The café is a real gem for the community.

“We fought so hard to get it open and we would love to keep it. But we need people’s support to keep it open.”

Centre management took the big decision to re-open a café on site after South Gloucestershire Council, which used to occupy the community centre, moved services to its new offices on Badminton Road.

The council had subsidised the café but when the centre took over in September 2011 it was without any financial aid.

“It has been an upward struggle,” said Anne-Marie. “We did a survey of the centre’s clients and found they really wanted it so there is definitely demand. “Most of the café’s customers are people who use the community centre but it is open to the public as well.

“The café has to look after itself and sadly we are not quite hitting those targets at the moment.”

She said feedback from customers was very positive but many people simply did not know the café was there.

“People don’t realise we are here,” added Anne-Marie. “We are between Yate and Chipping Sodbury and serve homemade fresh food such as lasagnes, jacket potatoes, paninis, salads and soups.

“We want to send the message to people in the area that their community café needs them. Use it or lose it.”

The Ridgewood café is open Monday to Friday (8.45am-2.15pm).

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