A new community café is set to open in East Lancashire – and food and drink will be free for the area’s most vulnerable.

Loaves and Fishes will be opening on Church Street in Barnoldswick at the end of May/start of June, thanks to Burnley-based charity, Church on the Street Ministries.

High quality but affordable food and drink, such as pies, sandwiches, cakes, coffee, tea and more will be available to customers.

It will also act as a community spaces where people can search for advice. Customers can even opt to pay a meal forward in order to help those in need.

Lancashire Telegraph: Loaves and Fishes community café will open at the end of May/start of June.Loaves and Fishes community café will open at the end of May/start of June.

Charity founder, Pastor Mick Fleming, said there is a great need for a community space like this since the “epidemic” of mental health problems that surfaced after the pandemic.

Mick, from Burnley, said:  “There is a need for more community cafes such as our to help the people who are struggling most in the town.

“Cost of living is going through the roof but wages aren’t increasing accordingly.

“It’s not just the need for the food – there is a new epidemic of loneliness, mental health problems and addiction which has been fuelled by poverty.”

The cafe will work in conjunction with the charity shop and food bank which they have already opened in Barnoldswick.

Food vouchers at the charity shop, which is also located on Church Street, will also be maden available for those in need to spend at the café.  

Lancashire Telegraph: Pastor Mick FlemingPastor Mick Fleming  

Mick said: “At the Barnoldswick charity shop we are finding that so many people are coming in who are lonely.

“They just want somebody to talk to and they are struggling to get help and assistance with bills and other things.”

A councillor will also be stopping by the café at least once a week to chat to those who feel stuck or isolated.

Mick said the response to the new café has been “overwhelming” since being announced.

He said: “Judging from the Facebook reaction, it seems like there is a real need for this café.

“We want people sat in there getting support – I want to thank the people of Barnoldswick for the support.”

Church on the Street Ministries is currently looking for volunteers to help run the café. To find out more visit their official website: www.cots-ministries.co.uk