Today saw the opening of the Olive Branch Community Café. The café, located in the centre of the square, sees Freebridge working in partnership with the Purfleet Trust, as part of the £30 million regeneration project.

As well as the volunteers from the Purfleet Trust, the café also saw Marks & Spencer staff volunteering their help, along with products being supplied to be used at the café.

KLFM broadcasted live from the event, and a celebratory cake, in the shape of the café, was cut by Mr and Mrs Major, two Freebridge tenants, who until recently had lived at Hillington Square for more than 44 years.

The café will be a place where people can meet, relax, enjoy a coffee and something to eat, while also providing training and employment opportunities in the area. There will also be free Wi-Fi for customers to use.

Tony Hall, Chief Executive of Freebridge, said “Now that the regeneration work is really starting to take place at Hillington Square, the cafe is the next step in developing the community for everyone concerned. It is a great place for people that live locally to meet and catch up, but also somewhere for people that walk through the square to stop and buy a coffee before they head to work.”

Paula Hall, Chief Executive of The Purfleet Trust added “Offering people opportunities for training and employment is at the heart of what we do. The Olive Branch Community Café gives our learners and volunteers a real environment for them to train and develop their skills. This café, which is the second one under this scheme, helps us to open doors in a great central location, to even more people.”

Hopefully we’ll see some of you there!

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