The reflections of a rural archdeacon on life and issues in the Yorkshire Dales. Supporting over 180 churches in an area that covers Teesdale, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Nidderdale, Harrogate and Wetherby, a Church of England archdeacon shares some of the questions and challenges that everyday ministry throws up.
Andy Rylands, our rural officer, sent me this information:
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
You can contact
Tess McMahon Community Hubs Development Officer
07540 691029 Email: Tess McMahon