THE Bathurst Uniting Support Services (BUSS) are ready to welcome back patrons to the Shelter Café.
The café initiative was established in 2020 as a way to continue to support disadvantaged people in the community during a time when the Uniting Safe Shelter was unable to provide emergency accommodation.
With the regional NSW lockdown, the café was forced to close, but the recent easing of restrictions across the state has made it possible for the service to resume.
It will be open this weekend from 10am to 12pm on both Saturday and Sunday, and will continue to open every weekend after that.
Guests will have access to a free hot meal, drink, snacks, fruit, clothing and blankets.
Meals vary week to week, but often include mild curries, spaghetti bolognese, savoury mince and nachos.
BUSS coordinator Julie Fry said the volunteers will all be double vaccinated, and they are looking forward to be able to open the café again.
"We're really thrilled that we can actually start reopening some of our projects and we're just gradually opening up as it becomes safe to do so," she said.
"We also recognise that even though some of the restrictions have lifted, that people are still doing it really tough and it has been a really tough time for people during COVID.
"It's nice to be back helping people with it and we hope to soon start up some of our cooking programs again and get Bathurst Buddies off the ground."
The café will need to follow the restrictions when it comes to serving people who are and aren't vaccinated, which means the level of service available will differ depending on a person's vaccination status.
"Anybody who is double vaccinated can come and sit down and have a meal. If they're not, we'll heat it up and it will be a takeaway," Ms Fry said.
People looking to use the café this weekend will need to visit the Bathurst Uniting Church activity hall to access the service, as the space normally occupied by the café is undergoing renovations.
This will be the case for the next few weeks.
The Shelter Café is also accepting volunteers. People can find contact information through the BUSS Facebook page.
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