Thursday, 20 December 2012

Community Hubs in North Yorkshire

Andy Rylands, our rural officer, sent me this information: 

Rural Action Yorkshire has received funding from North Yorkshire County Council to undertake an project to support the development of community hubs

The funding received is to be used to provide preventative social care and early interventions through the establishment and support of 7 Community Hubs within the rural areas of North Yorkshire. The hubs will be developed within existing community buildings such as village halls, libraries and community centres, which currently act as a focal point for members of the local community and already have activities taking place.

The project aims to build on the existing services within the local area, as well as developing new services, which will offer information, resources and community development support to vulnerable individuals and those more isolated members of the community.

The project is keen to encourage new and innovative ideas and to support new services and activities identified by its users.  Examples of services that may be encouraged to develop through this project would be activities such as: community cafés, allotments, drop-in centres, luncheon clubs, exercise classes, arts and crafts and other social activity groups.  It is also hoped that the hubs could provide focused support for specific groups, such as those with dementia, mobility problems or the bereaved.

As part of the project, RAY is in the process of setting up a small fund, to help hubs with some of the initial project set-up costs.  We recognize that in the early stages of a project, it is often difficult to access funds to pay for things such as promotional material, printing and meeting room hire - we hope that access to small grants will encourage and give confidence to groups to consider and explore new initiatives.

RAY has recently recruited a Community Hubs Development Officer, Tess McMahon, to work with groups and individuals and help develop and shape initiatives that meet their local needs. Tess will provide support to volunteers setting up projects within the identified community hubs as well as helping the project steering groups devise a longer term plans to safeguard their project’s sustainability and promote a social enterprising approach.

This will include assisting hub groups to make contact with local businesses, statutory organisations and both the private and public sector. To strengthen their focus on achieving sustainability, any groups who access funding from RAY will also be encouraged to repay a percentage of the initial costs. This will also have the benefit of putting money back into the pot for other groups to access in the future and extend the benefits derived.

Tess is currently in the process of making contact with community groups in North Yorkshire to identify which ones may be interested in the project and would like to establish a hub within their building. If your village hall, library, community centre or other community-based venue is interested in being part of this project, please contact Tess for more information.

You can contact
Tess McMahon Community Hubs Development Officer 07540 691029 Email: Tess McMahon
This project runs from 1 May 2012 – 30 April 2014

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