A VILLAGE'S one and only café is celebrating a successful start to creating a social hub in the community.

Somborne Café has seen a growing number through its doors since it launched in April 2022, with about 30 to 60 people attending each session.

The idea behind the not-for-profit organisation was to provide an affordable social space for people to meet, with the next nearest cafes being in Broughton, Braishfield or Stockbridge.

Founder Alastair Dodd said: "My wife and I over a glass of wine about a year ago said why don't we actually do something instead of just talking about it and it gathered momentum through support from the community."

The café is open every Tuesday in the Jubilee Room of Kings Somborne Village Hall from 10am-1pm and is run by a team of 10 volunteers on a rolling rota.

Coffee is supplied by Coffee Bean in Ower in addition to sausage rolls from Dusty Apron in Salisbury, speciality teas and hot chocolate and cinnamon buns backed by volunteer Sandra Rowden.

Mr Dodd, 67, added: "Everything we earn we put back into the café. Prices are very reasonable and well below their high street equivalents.

"We're well established now and we're delighted with how it's gone. Visitors have gradually increased, particularly in summer when we get cyclists and can seat people outside too. More people tend to come on a nice day but our regulars come rain or shine."

"We've seen enough cash flow, but the next six months will be tighter. I'm still confident that the café will be able to sustain itself and we'll be able to keep our prices down despite cost increases."

Alastair and his wife Sarah initially financed the project themselves but were successful in being awarded grants from the parish, Test Valley and Hampshire County Councils of around £1,500 in total.