Photo: KFRS

A new community café service has been launched to support community groups in Dover.

Set up and funded by Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) and other agencies, the service operates within Hoody’s Community Café, in the Charlton Centre. Its purpose is to serve up safety advice to locals and ensure all community groups in the town have easy access to resources that can help keep them safe. 

Open on Mondays between 9am until 3pm, representatives from KFRS and migrant support charity, Samphire, will be at the cafe to speak to people on a walk-in basis. Access to the service is completely free, and customers can expect information and advice on a variety of services, including KFRS’ Safe and Well home visits.

The launch of the cafe forms part of a wider mission for the fire service, to help keep all Kent and Medway residents safe, and raise awareness of all the safety resources available to them.

Michael Pitney, KFRS Station Manager for Collaboration, helped lead on the project:

“The emergency services are always here for everyone, whoever you are – but it’s important that absolutely everyone in the county knows how to access their services. This is why we’re so pleased to have launched this new initiative, and hope that it will be useful for everyone who would benefit from extra fire safety advice and assistance from other local agencies.”

“The idea for this café originated from an ongoing scheme which aims to help Roma communities live safer lives. We hope everyone will come away from the community café feeling safer, knowing that they have easy access to such essential services.”

Matthew Scott, the Police and Crime Commissioner, said, “This is a great venture and I’m so glad we could make it happen. It’s important for the emergency services to be part of communities they serve. I hope people do support the café and benefit from the vital information it’s serving up.”

Vojito Hudi, who owns Hoody’s Community Café, said: “This partnership with KFRS, Kent Police, the PCC and the Samphire Project is a dream come true. Not only because our community will be here in our café, but because they will be learning such important safety advice with the help of these public services.”

Iveta Janova, Inclusion Development Officer at Samphire, who will be working at the café alongside KFRS, also said: “We are thrilled that Samphire will be working in partnership with this new venture. I look forward to working closely with Vojito Hudi and the Community Cafe partners to ensure inclusivity for all communities.”

By Ed