Caroline Nokes, MP for Romsey and Southampton North, paid a visit to the Round About Café, a significant community hub in Mansbridge, on Thursday 5th January. The Café is run by Radian, one of the south’s leading housing associations.
Ms. Nokes met with Radian’s Chief Executive, Lindsay Todd and volunteers to see, first-hand, the role the Café plays within the community. The Hampshire MP learnt about the training courses offered to help volunteers develop skills, experience and confidence as well as taking the opportunity to discuss the importance of welfare delivery, supported housing, employment and training.
Opened in September 2013, the Round About Café is a not-for-profit, community facility and its success is dependent on key volunteers, who have contributed over 2,300 hours of support over the past year. Not only offering good quality food and the opportunity for training and employment, the Café also hosts activities and events for the local community to help bring people together and reduce the risk of social isolation.
Speaking about her visit, Ms. Nokes is confident that organisations like Radian will continue to play a valuable role in local communities, she said: “The provision of employment as well as skills and personal development training makes this Café a wonderful example of community engagement and support, as well as a great place for the local neighbourhood to get together socially.
“I really enjoyed meeting Lindsay and the volunteers at the Café. We had some great conversations and it’s clear to see how important the Café is to the area.”
Lindsay Todd, Chief Executive said: “It was great to meet with Caroline Nokes to show her the invaluable service the Round About Café provides. We discussed issues currently affecting Romsey and Southampton and how Radian is contributing to the local area through housing and employment support.
“The Round About Café and our excellent volunteers are helping the local community whether that be by delivering a technology club to help residents get to grips with using their own mobile devices and the internet, or the opportunity to meet with a local pharmacist for health advice and a check-up. There really is something for everyone and we are very proud to be running such a fantastic community facility that is appreciated so highly by our local MP.”