A community cafe at an old village school hall has been labelled a 'fabulous success'.

The Armathwaite community cafe takes place on the second and fourth Monday of every month and offers residents of the Cumbrian village affordable hot drinks, cakes, soups, and the chance to socialise with other locals.

The cafe used to be known as 'Cuppa and Cake' and started in 2019, however, was taken over by organiser Jean Bulcock in January who has made use of the Warm Spot Fund, which provides funding to charitable organisations to help them stay open for longer this winter, to refocus it onto the Armathwaite community.

She said: "For five years another ladu did 'Cuppa and Cake' in an afternoon for two sessions a month, however, recently I have taken it on and I have changed it to a community cafe over lunchtime and it has been a huge success.

"It has been amazing, I mean unbelievable. We have got 50 people who came last time and the four of us who were working were flat out and the other difference has been the demographic.

"We have had about 12 or 13 men coming as well which we never saw at the 'Cuppa and Cake'."

The cafe first took place under its new community name on Monday, January 8 at Armathwaite's Old School Hall which Jean and her volunteers have decorated with traditional gingham tablecloths.

The cafe also aims to provide affordable food with soup and a cheese scone costing just £2.50. 

"We made it look like a cafe, the ambiance is very good and people are meeting their friends there, people just want to sit and talk," Jean said.

"The other thing is that if people come on their own we make an effort to go and sit with them and talk to them or introduce them to somebody.

"We haven't seen some of these people in the hall for years so it has been a fabulous success so far."