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The eco-friendly country cafe serving up a fresh cure for loneliness

PUBLISHED: 13:05 10 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:32 10 October 2019

A group sitting and enjoying a meal together in the cafe. Photo: Amie Childs

A group sitting and enjoying a meal together in the cafe. Photo: Amie Childs

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A popular cafe on the Norfolk and Suffolk border has reinvented itself with a focus on sustainable food and catering to elderly loneliness.

A full english breakfast including fresh sausages, eggs, and bacon. Photo: Amie ChildsA full english breakfast including fresh sausages, eggs, and bacon. Photo: Amie Childs

"People being lonely in this day and age in an overpopulated world is sad," says Amie Childs, 40, the owner of the Country Kitchen on Maisebrooke farm, at Shipmeadow in Beccles.

Mrs Childs has previously worked in community projects, and decided to reinvent her cafe to give back as a community enterprise.

"It's something I have thought about quite a lot, in Europe we aren't as good at looking after our older generation. There's a lot of focus on kids and sadly we forget about the elderly," she said.

"I really feel for those on their own, especially those compromised by age and income.

Outside seating pictured on a sunny day at the farm. Photo: Amie ChildsOutside seating pictured on a sunny day at the farm. Photo: Amie Childs

"The cafe is already a popular stop for holidaymakers and locals, but we want to offer companionship."

The cafe is now launching a range of new ways for elderly people to connect, called the 'comfort food and companion scheme'.

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It includes getting locals involved to offer a lift to and from the cafe, which is hard to reach on public transport, and providing regular social events for the elderly to meet.

A selection of homemade pastries on offer at the farm. Photo: Amie ChildsA selection of homemade pastries on offer at the farm. Photo: Amie Childs

Mrs Childs said: "In a rural community its vital that we support one another, especially for those who are economically challenged and vulnerable."

She added that the cafe was proud to move on to using totally free range, home-grown food including meat grown on the farm.

Visitors can also pet some of the farm animals.

"I also no longer do any plastic, all drinks are in glasses, and all takeaway stuff is compostable.

"I'm starting a new vegan range of sandwiches and pastries too. I haven't really shouted about it, but it's just to provide for those who cut down on eating meat.

"Simple low-cost food doesn't mean you can't use fresh, nutritious ingredients to create memories of home-cooked food."

More information about the cafe can be found on their Facebook page or by calling Amie Childs on 07852297225.

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