Amid the hysteria created by the Covid-19 pandemic across the globe, one Walkden cafe has stepped up to the plate to look after their own.
Hug in a Mug, based on High Street, Worsley, have been taking care of their customers for the past five years, but different times calls for different answers, which this community cafe has in abundance.
Karen Gardiner, owner of the cafe, has set up a delivery service for the vulnerable and there is also a takeaway menu of fresh, home-cooked, affordable yet quality meals to support her customers at this time.
She said: “It’s like a big family. A lot of people now have come to look upon us as their family.”
It is easy to see why. Facetime calls and keeping in touch with their customers, helping with bills, shopping or letters that they don’t understand are just some of the ways they go the extra mile.
“That’s the whole point of it, we’re just here as a community cafe to help the community. Anything we can do, anything at all, we’ll do it. And if we can’t do it, we’ll signpost them towards somebody else who can”, Karen added.
The cafe caters to the needs of its people. There is a craft group in the evening, halted for obvious reasons, whereby all creations go towards ‘Dancing with Dementia’ to raise money for the charity.
Sunday Dinners; quiz nights; bingo nights; you name it, they have done it. All to make their hub an enjoyable and comfortable environment for those who need it most.
Deliveries are being made to customers that largely live on their own, who “probably don’t see anybody from one day to the next”.
Although we are still closed to the general public, we are now allowed to be back open for customers to come and order take aways as well as our usual local delivery service, here’s the menu again just in case you’d like some of our food to eat in your home pic.twitter.com/M9yRzkMIKj
— Hug in a mug (@HuginaMugw) March 25, 2020
She continued: “Obviously we can’t go into their houses or anything like that and we wouldn’t want to, but at least we can have a chat on the phone, make sure they’re okay, make sure they’ve got enough shopping.”
“It’s early days yet but if it carries on the way it is I think we might be a thing of the future to be honest, for people that can’t get out.”
Rest assured, despite potential worries over contamination at food outlets, Karen added that “everything is packed in hygienic containers for us to take round. The only people that have touched it is basically me, who cooks it, and them that eat it.”