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  • Writer's pictureAnn Molyneux

August Ubuntu Coffee Morning

THE kettle was on, the tables were laid and the freshly-made cakes and sandwiches looked inviting on the beautiful, sunny day in August when we came together for the first Ubuntu Coffee Morning since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even though you couldn’t ignore the impact of the pandemic, the obligatory QR codes were stuck up around the building and many people still wore face masks indoors, the staff and volunteers from Ness M Care Foundation were excited to see each other and our guests face-to-face at last.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major setback for a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for people cared for at home and their carers. Not being able to hold events for so long meant it had also lost out on donations at a time when its work with vulnerable members of the community was more important than ever.

So it was comforting to see guests arriving at the Paston and Gunthorpe Community Centre in Hallfields Lane, Paston, Peterborough.

Not only was there a friendly smile from our volunteers, a cup of tea or coffee and a slice of cake available for visitors but also the chance to talk to others in a similar situation to themselves.

Inspired by the charity’s founder Jacqualine Moyo, who originates from Zimbabwe, the coffee mornings are named after the African philosophy of ‘Ubuntu’, which places emphasis on ‘being self through others’ as NMF recognises that no-one in society should be left behind.

Jacqualine decided to set up the charity from her experiences as a nurse, where she found she was often the only person her patients would see for days, even weeks at a time.

Many of the guests at the NMF coffee morning, held in August, had been stuck at home during the pandemic, no doubt intensifying their feelings of social isolation and loneliness, so it was lovely to see them enjoying themselves.

As well as some delicious food, people could join in with some table games. They could name an unbelievably soft cuddly bear or guess how many sweets were in a jar. The chance to decipher anagrams of various cakes proved to be very popular too. Guests also took part in a couple of games of bingo and could win prizes in the tombola, which included handmade cards by a talented supporter and a selection of teas.

The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Stephen Lane came along to support the event with his wife, the Mayoress Margaret Lane. Jacqualine Moyo was also around to chat to guests.

At the end of the day, people emerged from the building into the warm afternoon sun, having enjoyed a change from their usual surroundings and happy to have made a few new friends.

The next Ubuntu Coffee Morning is taking place next Monday from 10am to noon at Paston and Gunthorpe Community Centre in Hallfields Lane, Peterborough, PE4 7YH. To RSVP, call 01733 570999 or email:

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