Fareham community hub celebrates fifth anniversary in style with visit from mayor

A big crowd gathers at The Highlands Hub in Highlands Road to celebrate the cafe's fifth anniversary

Picture: Loughlan Campbell
A big crowd gathers at The Highlands Hub in Highlands Road to celebrate the cafe's fifth anniversary Picture: Loughlan Campbell
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  • Fareham cafe marked five years with a celebratory open day yesterday
  • Manager calls on more residents to get involved
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A COMMUNITY hub celebrated their five year anniversary in style yesterday.

The Highlands Hub in Highlands Road, Fareham turned five yesterday with a lavish open day that was complete with a bake sale, a packed out cafe and a special appearance from mayor of Fareham, Councillor Connie Hockley.

We’ve got a real family feel here and we just want people to have the chance to experience it.

Penny Raymond, manager

Opened back in 2011 as a place for community groups to meet and provide access to computers and the internet for the area’s young and old, the hub has now developed into a ‘cafe with a difference.’

Penny Raymond, 46, from Fareham, manager of the hub said: ‘We’ve come so far over the last five years and we just want to get more people into the hub so we can help them all out.

‘Over the years we’ve become a cafe with a difference in that we take people in here and really give them the information that they need if they are looking for it.’

The hub is home to visits from the Citizens Advice Bureau, free community service iTalk that helps those with depression, Fareshare, Tesco and the neighbourhood watch.

Penny added: ‘We’ve got a real family feel here and we just want people to have the chance to experience it.’

Rose Fryer, a regular customer said: ‘This place is very much set up to help the community, there really is no place like it.’

Natarka Burgess, 25, of Fareham, came into the hub with her 19-week-old daughter, Cecelia earlier this year and says the place feels like ‘a home.’

She said: ‘I remember when I first walked in that Penny greeted me with this big smile and a hug.

‘This place has become a home to me and has made me feel so welcome.

Cllr Hockley added: ‘This place has had my support since day one.

‘It’s a fantastic place that really provides a vital service to the people of Fareham Park.

‘For people who may be lonely, this is the perfect place to come in, have a coffee, a chat and get all the information you may need to get a fresh start.’