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Welsh MP visits community cafe feeding vulnerable people

By Rory Smith | Mid Wales | News | Published:

A Welsh MP has made a socially distanced visit to a cafe using volunteers to provide food to vulnerable people throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

Beverley Parry-Jones, office manager to Simon Baynes, Mr Baynes MP and Grace Lockhart, manager at Rhos Community Café

MP for Clwyd South, Simon Baynes, made the visit along with his constituency office staff to Rhos Community Café to learn more about the work of volunteers in providing vulnerable people with food parcels.

The café, which is based at Berlin House, Market Street, provides food boxes to 200 residents in Rhos, Penycae, Johnstown area every week, including people from the Portuguese and Polish communities.

The café first opened its doors in 2012, providing a safe space for people in the area. Mr Baynes was given a tour of the café by manager, Grace Lockhart, a trained church minister and leader of the church that meets in the café, which is connected to The Community Church in Wrexham. He also met volunteers Jason Parry and Stacey Murphy, who have helped at the café since 2013 and 2012 respectively.

The Community Café has been supported by Steven Morgan Foundation, Moon Dance, and with grants from the Welsh Resilience Fund and the National Lottery Community Fund. They have also received donations from Rhos Community Council, AVOW, the Rotary Club, and Tesco Bags of Help.

Beverley Parry-Jones, officer manager to Simon Baynes, Jason Parry, cafe volunteer since 2013, Grace Lockhart cafe manager, Stacey Murphy, cafe volunteer since 2012, and Simon Baynes MP

Rhos Community Café is also exploring opportunities to work with Wrexham Food Bank. Food is currently donated to the Community Café by supermarkets and charities such as Tesco in Cefn Mawr, Asda, Bookers and Rhos and Rhostyllen Co-op.

Rhos Community Café manager, Grace Lockhart, said: “We’re incredibly grateful for Simon’s support and are really proud to be able to help members of our local community during these unprecedented times. We want anyone who’s struggling to know that we’re here and ready to support you, so please get in touch if you need help.”

Mr Baynes said: “Rhos Community Café has played an absolutely vital role supporting the local community during the coronavirus pandemic. And I was incredibly impressed to see first-hand the amazing work they do providing food parcels and emotional and wellbeing support to vulnerable residents.

“My constituency office staff have also volunteered to step in and help support the Community Café by collecting food from supermarkets and delivering parcels to vulnerable residents locally. If anyone is interested in volunteering, I’d encourage them to get in touch with Grace Lockhart at the Community Café on 01978447477.”

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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