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Donation helps Eastleigh community café improve its facilities

A regional housebuilder has donated £1,000 to an Eastleigh community café which provides much-needed support to local people to help improve the service it offers.

The Blackbird Café applied to Persimmon Homes South Coast to become a winner in its Community Champions scheme. Each month, the regional business chooses two groups to benefit from a match-funded donation of up to £1,000 each.

The Blackbird Café, a not-for-profit community café, provides lunch clubs, social activities, arts and crafts workshops and special events for adults with disabilities, older people and people living in isolation.

The group also delivers subsidised and free healthy food and cooking courses for young people with additional needs, who often go on to volunteer in the café itself.

Spokeswoman Debbie Parnell said: “Outside our café we have a large patio which often serves as the venue for activities as the café itself is quite small.

“However, the patio is not sheltered from the sun and rain and this can be a barrier for some people. Many of our service users have requested an all-weather shade to allow them to engage more in our activities.

“We have been fundraising for more than a year to try to raise the money for a permanent canopy through such things as a tombola, raffles, quiz nights and a fete. We need to raise £5,000 and are more than halfway there. We cannot thank Persimmon Homes South Coast enough for its support as the money will help us try to reach our target before the summer so that we can open our doors to hundreds more isolated and vulnerable people in our community.”

Matt Paine, managing director for Persimmon Homes South Coast, said: “We are delighted to be able to lend a helping hand to this worthwhile cause, which clearly provides a valuable service to the local community.

“If people were unsuccessful in their Community Champions application, we urge them to visit the Persimmon Homes website and to try again and hopefully they will become our next recipient.”

To nominate and to find out about the terms and conditions people can visit

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