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School to serve up community cafe

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
School to serve up community cafe

A PRIMARY school in Annan is set to serve up food and hot drinks as part of measures aimed at addressing poverty in the town.

St Columba’s Roman Catholic Primary are launching a weekly community cafe, welcoming family members into the school every Friday morning.
Welcoming financial support from local charity the JMA Trust, head teacher Barry McIntyre said: “We applied for the £2000 to support our anti-poverty strategy.”
He added: “This has been given us to spend over four years, and some of that money will be used to fight ‘hunger fatigue’, which we started before the summer.
“Our breakfast club has now evolved into a community cafe.”
And with support and provision of goods and materials from Costa Coffee and also Tesco, who in addition are providing £200 towards the purchase of pancake makers, the weekly initiative is about to begin.
Mr McIntyre said: “It will be open on Friday mornings and will invite parents, grandparents and pupils to come in before 9 am and to have a coffee, and enjoy a book or two — as we’re in the process of revamping the library and introducing a section for adults.”
In August, the 2016 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation named Annan East as one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the region along with areas of Dumfries and Stranraer.
A trial run of St Columba’s community cafe initiative on October 13 proved a massive success.
Guests are not charged for food and drink, but suggested donations resulted in about £100.
And Mr McIntyre says the eventual hope is to have a cafe which can come to life at any time — at parents’ night, during a Christmas show, or when mass is held in school.
Children have gone through an application process, interview, and successful candidates have received a day’s training as baristas, chefs, waitresses and cashiers.

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