Village hall given an £18,000 ‘hug’

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Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

A weekly coffee morning in Whittlebury is celebrating its fifth anniversary – and more than £18,000 raised for an important village facility.

Five years ago, villagers were considering ways to provide support to the Whittlebury Reading Room.

The 100-year-old village hall was in urgent need of some care and attention – in short, the hall needed ‘a hug’.

Out of these deliberations arose the HUG initiative, to raise funds to renovate the facilities, and one of the ideas was to hold a coffee morning in the Reading Room every Friday morning.

Five years on, thanks to the energy and enthusiasm of a team of village ladies organised by Linda Williams and Denise Morson, the HUG Café is still going strong.

As well as teas and coffees, there are home-made cakes, homemade sausage rolls and, in winter months, home-made soup and bread.

Locally grown produce is available in season and from to time local businesses will set up a stall of their products, ranging from ladies clothing to plants and greetings cards.

Village correspondent Faye Johnson said: “In five years, the HUG Café has not only raised over £18,000 but it has become part of life in the village. It just goes to show what can be achieved with the determination of the few and the support of the many.

“Sometimes the simple ideas do work.”

The HUG Café is open from 10m to noon on Fridays.