Church helps mothers with new community launderette

A church in Camelford, north Cornwall, is launching a new community launderette to help mothers who do not have the space or money for a washing machine in their own homes.

The Camelford Community Launderette is being launched on Friday by the Right Reverend Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro, and the Reverend Steve Wild, Chair of Cornwall Methodist District.

They will be joined by local school children from Camelford Community Primary School, who will sing some songs.

Bishop Thornton will run the first wash of clothes from local volunteers and young people.

Camelford Community Launderette is a non-profit response to local needs. Three years ago, mums attending St Thomas's Church, Camelford, brought it to the attention of the vicar that they did not have the space or money to have a washing machine in their homes.

The nearest launderette is too far for them to reach on a regular basis, while the lack of space would deny families a place in their homes to spend time together.

Concerned by the cleanliness of the children and the overall wellbeing of the families, the vicar set himself the task of seeking funding and setting up an affordable community launderette.

In addition to providing washing and drying services, there are meeting rooms for hire, a drop-in service, and free Wi-fi.

Much of the funding to get the project off the ground has come from the East Cornwall Local Action Group, part of the Local Action for Rural Communities Programme, the European Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), and DEFRA.

Linda Emmett, East Cornwall Local Action Group Manager said: "We are happy to support a project such as the community-run launderette which meets our aim to provide new services and facilities in rural communities, especially innovative projects such as this.

"We hope everyone in Camelford gets behind the venture, making use of the facility to help the launderette achieve long-term sustainability".

In order to make the project sustainable, local residents are being invited to buy shares, which will allow them to have a vote and a say in how the launderette develops in future.

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