CRAVEN unsung heroes of the housing sector celebrated their recent success in a national contest by enjoying afternoon tea at Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton.

The staff and volunteers who run Horton Housing's community cafes in Skipton and Settle, were celebrating being named 'support and care team of the year at the event organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and Inside Housing magazine.

Community development worker, Helen Bannister, said: “Our volunteers are an integral part of our cafés. Their help, hard work and commitment has made the cafés a great success. The cafés would not have won the award without our volunteers.”

The weekly cafes aim to improve the lives of adults who have mental health issues or who are at risk of or experiencing social isolation.

Informal learning sessions and activities help them increase their confidence, develop skills and access volunteering and employment opportunities.

Their aim is to act as an early intervention and prevention service that help to stop problems escalating and reaching crisis level. They reduce reliance on other expensive statutory services including emergency services.

Scheme manager, Hannah Brown, said: “The award success was a great achievement. We wanted to celebrate with our volunteers who are a tremendous help to us. We arranged a visit to Keelham Farm Shop - a great venue with delicious food and an award winning reputation. We are grateful to Keelham Farm Shop for subsidising the celebration. We all had a great time.”

The cafés run every Wednesday at The Meeting House, Settle, from 1.15pm to 4.15pm;

and every Thursday at St Andrew's Church Hall, Skipton, from 1pm to 4pm.