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New 'Eurocafe' to help ensure EU citizens feel welcome in city

PUBLISHED: 17:31 24 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:31 24 November 2019

L-R Kathryn Skoiles, Rev'd Selwin Tellet, Sarah Patey and Adam Berry at the first meeting of Norwich's Eurocafe. Picture: Staff

L-R Kathryn Skoiles, Rev'd Selwin Tellet, Sarah Patey and Adam Berry at the first meeting of Norwich's Eurocafe. Picture: Staff

Archant

A weekly cafe has been set up in Norwich designed to make sure everyone, regardless of their nationality, feels welcome in the city.

Established by David Patey and his wife Sarah, who live in Norwich, Eurocafe is a weekly space designed to make people feel welcome, especially EU citizens who may be feeling worried during the general election campaign.

The group meets in St Mary Magdalene Church on Silver Road on Saturday mornings, with the first meeting two days ago and the last set for December 21 - and if the scheme is a success it is hoped it will continue into the new year.

Mrs Patey, who along with her husband is a member of Norfolk for Europe, explained where the idea for the group had come from and said: "Particularly through our involvement in Norfolk for Europe over the last few years we have met so many lovely people who have made a home here and who suddenly feel unwelcome.

"[I have a friend] who has been absolutely agonised about not getting her settled status which she does now have. She had been feeling incredibly nervous about her status."

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Highlighting Norwich's history of welcoming people, Mrs Patey said: "I think Norwich is generally is a very welcoming, friendly place, and communities are very important here."

She said although the group had been set up by members of Norfolk for Europe, it was not a political space. She said: "This is not about Brexit, it's about our friends and neighbours who are feeling uncomfortable and at worse scared.

"We want to say you are our friends and neighbours and you are welcome."

The Rev Selwyn Tillett, the vicar of St Mary Magdalene Church which is hosting the cafe, said the idea of the church helping to foster communities was not a new one. He said: "This is something this church has always done, been very inclusive to all types of people.

"There's a great deal of goodwill, and it will take a little while for people to come out of the woodwork and come but I think they will."

Eurocafe will meet in St Mary Magdalene Church from 11.30am to 1.30pm on November 30, December 7, 14 and 21. For more information email eurocafenorwich@gmail.com

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