By Harriet Ernstsons Friday 15 March 2013 Updated: 15/03 10:38
A COMMUNITY café at the heart of Batchley is set to close its doors this week due to a lack of funding.
The venue, which was run by Batchley Support Group, will shut on Wednesday (March 20) after the charity decided they could no longer continue to support the loss-making venture.
The café is used by groups including students from Pitcheroak School and young adults with learning disabilities and also provides hot meals for elderly people in the district.
A resident, who did not want to be named, told the Standard: “We are very upset about this. It helps a lot of pensioners with dinners, a very nice hard working lady will be out of a job plus there are young people with learning problems who help out in there. We don’t want to see the café shut.”
Others called on individuals or businesses to come forward and offer their support. One said: “What is going to happen to those who use it? It needs some more professional help.
“It serves the community such a lot and helps older people especially. It will be a major loss for them.”
Maureen Muckle, chairman of Batchley Support Group, said it had been a ‘very difficult decision’ to make.
“It is really sad. We have looked for funding but it is getting difficult to get and although we have had funding in the past from places like the council it has never really been enough as it doesn’t pay all the costs of running a place like that.
“It has never been run as a profit-making concern, it was just to break even but it never really has.
“We would like to say thank you to all the people who have used it and especially to our member of staff who’s been there working really hard. We do a lot of work in the community but we can’t keep doing this unfortunately.”
A spokesman for Redditch Borough Council said: “Six weeks ago we released £5,000 of grant funding to the group, in the usual way against quarterly arrears. We were notified of the intention to close the café this week.”
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