Goodbye to community ‘lifeline’ and cafe

Sandra Boxall (left), 73, and Pauline Cunningham, 60, with customers. Picture: Derek Martin
Sandra Boxall (left), 73, and Pauline Cunningham, 60, with customers. Picture: Derek Martin

The Wick community said a final farewell to a longstanding social ‘lifeline’ on Friday.

The coffee shop run by the Littlehampton Nautical Training Corps (NTC) in Wick Farm Road closed its doors for the final time on Friday after 15 years.

“It has been a really big part of the community,” said Emma Ginnaw, commander of the Littlehampton division of the NTC, a uniformed youth organisation.

The cafe was a meeting point for the community, but also a key fundraiser for the youth group. The decision to close it came after two long-serving committee members stood down from running it.

“It is a shame really,” Emma added. “It has been a lifeline for people who are recently bereaved, for groups to meet and parents to bring children.

“People could come and get something at really affordable prices, everything was under a pound.

“It was about trying to help the community as well as ourselves,” she added.

The coffee shop raised about £6,000 a year for the NTC, funding that will be hard to replace, Emma says.

“The biggest single fundraiser is going to be lost. The NTC is ovisouly going to have to find different ways of fundraising.”

Emma was keen to thank the community for its support over the years, and paid special tribute to Sandra Boxall and Pauline Cunningham, who ran the cafe since it first opened in February 2002.

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