Mahon's first community café connecting locals and supporting children with autism in Cork

Mahon's first community café connecting locals and supporting children with autism in Cork
The Cottage Community Café at Mahon Community Centre.

A local community café in the heart of Mahon has reopened serving teas, coffee and homemade food in aid of a local charity that supports children with autism and their families in Cork.

The Cottage Community Café is Mahon’s first community café which is run by the Rainbow Club at Mahon Community Centre.

The café is run by part-time staff and volunteers and offers work experience to the club’s teens and young adults.

The café offers a breakfast and lunch menu including sweet treats, sandwiches and scones, as well as teas and coffees with afternoon tea also on offer at €10.

It also caters for vulnerable and elderly people in the area with dedicated hours on Thursday mornings from 10am until 12pm.

Café manager Molly Kinane told The Echo that she understands that while a lot of us are getting used to the new normal, for some people it is still very frightening to go out in social situations.

“Our hope that this will allow these customers to enjoy their visits in a safer way and will help to ease the worries of many of our older and vulnerable customers. During this time we work with minimum staff to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19,” she said.

The Cottage Community Café at Mahon Community Centre.
The Cottage Community Café at Mahon Community Centre.

During the lockdown, the café was used as a base for volunteers from the Rainbow Club to make food hampers for those most vulnerable in the community and since reopening the space has been fitted with hand sanitising stations and public health guidelines are in place.

All tables are two metres apart and customers are required to wear face coverings until seated and again upon leaving their table.

“We have multiple safety measures in place including two metre distance between seating, contact tracing, as well as visors and facemasks for staff. All tables and chairs are sanitised regularly before and after each customer,” Ms Kinane said.

With the cafés afternoon tea offering going down a treat, Ms Kinane said that it is “amazing” to see the café doing so well.

“We are so happy with all the support we have been getting from not just the people in the community but also local businesses and the parents at the Rainbow Club. It's so fulfilling to be able to connect with people in the community and know that our work here is not only great for the locals but also in supporting the Rainbow Club financially.

“We have created four new jobs, two local people from the area, one mum whose children attend the Rainbow Club and one young adult who has attended the club and is now a mentor there,” she said.

For more information on opening times and menus visit www.facebook.com/thecottagecommunitycafe/.

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