Congratulations to Maurice & Sue! The Parish Council nominated you both, a couple of months back for a ‘Hunts Forum Rural Volunteer Award’ in recognition of your amazing work setting up and sustaining the Neighbourhood cafe. We are delighted to share this news that they were awarded a ‘Bronze David Morgan Rural Volunteer of the Year Award’!
This was announced on December 2, 2020 at Hunts Forum AGM, and you can see it on their website. click here – Volunteer Awards 2020 Announced | Hunts Forum
Reason for nomination:
The Neighbourhood Cafė in Hail Weston has now been running for four years. – It was set up by Maurice & Sue Lee, independent of the Parish Council and was born out of a village Community Led Plan 2016-2021, that Maurice & Sue were very actively involved with.
One of their ambitions following the Community Plan was to set up a Community Café in the village hall for residents to meet, chat and enjoy a cuppa and homemade cakes. They both set up (doesn’t really do the pair justice) as they researched and engaged with CCC, Care Network Cambridgeshire, Help the Aged, other local schemes, Village hall committee and villagers to name a few, to ensure a fantastic twice every month chance for residents and visitors a natter with tea, coffee and cake!
During that time they have organised a small team of volunteers in producing homemade cakes & bakes and serving tea, coffee and juice for members of the community. All ages of residents have benefited from 2 years of age to 89 years old, as well as visitors.
Maurice & Sue have throughout the four years have mostly welcomed visitors themselves, rarely missing a café. Always with a friendly smile whilst collaborating with the Village Hall Committee, setting up chairs and tables, decorating hall and tables and inviting engaging speakers from beekeepers, security, defibrillator demonstration and health checks and local historical talks to the afternoons.
The donations that have been received from willing residents in exchange for chat and delicious home bakes has been instrumental in raising the amazing sum of £6,928.57 for a number of charities such as Upside Down Club, Mind, British Legion, Young Carers, Beds & Cambs Rural Support Group, Air Ambulance and St Nicolas Church restoration to name a few. As well as funding the purchase of two village defibrillators.
You can imagine how proud the Neighbourhood Cafe teams is, and The Parish Council offer no hesitation in nominating Maurice and Sue particularly poignant this year as due to Covid -19 they feel the café is in safe hands to hand over to the small team of volunteers who have also been part of that huge community effort.
Unfortunately, Covid 19 has meant that they have been unable to run any cafė events since March of this year, but as Maurice and Sue say themselves nothing is forever!