Dunmow Day Centre in kitchen emergency

DUNMOW’S Day Centre could face periods of closure if organisers are unable to find a new relief chef.

The committee which runs the facility on Chequers Lane is looking for somebody who can step in when the full-time cook is on holiday or unwell.

But there are fears that people who use the centre could end up going without a hot meal if a suitable candidate cannot be found.

Manager Willie Fraser said: “My concern is where people would go if we did have to close, and whether they would be able to get a hot meal.

“A lot of people who come here because they live on their own, as their wife or husband may have died, and they want some company.

“Without this they may not have anybody to talk to. Even if their friends are not here the volunteers are willing to have a chat.”

Over the summer the committee struggled to provide food as the chef was off ill, but members worked together to ensure the centre remained open. Help was also received from organisations in the communitym including Chicks which provides food for functions.

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Around 60 people visit the day centre for tea and coffee on a Tuesday, with up to 30 turning up for lunch. On other days it has between 15 and 20 people dining.

The relief chef, which is a paid position, would be available to stand in when needed, and Mr Fraser said the person would need to be flexible.

The applicant must also have relevant health and safety hygiene certificates.

A kitchen assistant is also needed.

Future plans for the centre, which is often hired to community groups, includes a revamp, with redecorating in mind, and purchasing new chairs.

Volunteers for tea and coffee rounds, which take place from 10am until noon on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, are also welcome.

Prospective volunteers or applicants for the relief chef position should send their CV to Mr Fraser on williefraser@aol.com.