Kemi Badenoch MP recently visited a charity café dedicated to tackling social isolation in Saffron Walden.

Mrs Badenoch, who is MP for Saffron Walden, was welcomed to Café Cornell by a team of more than 50 staff and volunteers, who've been helping people in the community for seven years.

The café is part of the award-winning Enterprise East Group CIC, a charity founded by Samantha McReynolds in 2017.

During Mrs Badenoch's visit, she had the opportunity to talk to Samantha about the challenges and opportunities encountered by the charity in recent years.

They discussed how the charity adapted during the pandemic by setting up a takeout and delivery service, Sandy's Diner.

Mrs Badenoch also got to witness a practice and performance by the café's singing group.

She  said: "I had an excellent visit to Café Cornell: a café committed to helping to tackle social isolation in Saffron Walden.

"It has quickly become a community hub, with the many outreach events on offer, all whilst supporting and providing opportunities for individuals to build confidence and new skills.

"Thank you to Enterprise East founder Samantha McReynolds and everyone at the café for showing me around, I will definitely be back."

Café Cornell is just one of five social businesses run by Enterprise East within the area, and received a King's Award in 2023 for their exemplary volunteer work.

Residents can learn more about the work of Enterprise East Group and Café Cornell by visiting, and

Café Cornell provides opportunities for people with learning, physical and sensory disabilities, poor mental health, ex-offenders, those overcoming addiction, care leavers, those experiencing homelessness, and low-income families.

Enterprise East also operates the Cornell Salon, Cornell Health and Beauty in Saffron Walden, and Sandy's Diner and the Tea Leaf tearoom in Great Dunmow.

These business run a broad range of events and activities for the community, including Meet Up Mondays - where anyone can drop in - and a 'Memory Lane' café for people with dementia.

The café is opening up a refill shop in the coming weeks, which will sell non-packaged goods with the aim of reducing waste within the community.