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New name for Norwich cafe

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 September 2012

Karen Maidstone, centre manger at the Sanctuary Cafe at the All Saints Centre. Picture: Denise Bradley

Karen Maidstone, centre manger at the Sanctuary Cafe at the All Saints Centre. Picture: Denise Bradley

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A city-centre café which offers people somewhere to chat and meet friends - and help the homeless at the same time - has been given a new name in a bid to get more people through the door.

The café at the All Saints’ Centre in Westlegate, opposite John Lewis, has been re-branded The Sanctuary Café in a bid to draw attention to the venue and make it more of a meeting place.

Run largely by volunteers, the cafe serves meals, hot drinks and snacks. It is part of the centre which also boasts a quiet room, a chapel, a Christian lending library, cards and gifts, second-hand books and bric-a-brac and a Traidcraft stall.

It also promotes the Food for Thought voucher scheme: people can buy vouchers to give to the homeless so they can get a meal.

Centre manager Karen Maidstone said: “We wanted to change the name to the Sanctuary Café so people realise it is for anyone to come in here.

“We want people to come in here to help us and to help the homeless. We are great for prices and people who come in say it’s a great and friendly place. We just want people to be aware we are here.”

The centre, which is a registered charity and was founded by Jo Cook more than 30 years ago, is run by four paid staff and about 12 volunteers.

It costs about £1,650 a week to run.

Mish Baptiste, 59, from Bowthorpe, who uses the café regularly, said: “It’s a place where you can get a reasonably priced meal and meet friends. We sit around chatting and have a laugh. I live on my own so it’s ideal for me.”

Lois Wiltshire, 60, from Norwich, who meets her friend Sylvia Rogers at the centre once a week, said: “It’s quiet, very reasonable and we love the food, it’s good.”

Are you trying to safeguard the future of a community facility? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326.

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