S Norfolk charity leads community activities
Hub Community Project, supported by Hope Community Church Wymondham, is serving the local community, reaching across all ages, and all situations. Andy Latham looks at the project in more detail.
Started six years ago, Hub Community Project is modelled on many similar community projects across the country, and it aims to connect and support the local community. Since relocating to their new premises on Ayton Road, Wymondham last May the project has seen much new interest in all of its projects.
Hoppers is the parent/toddler group of The Hub. From small beginnings of one group they now run five sessions per week, three in The Hub building and two in the neighbouring villages of Wicklewood and Barnham Broom. The group also offers a monthly Dads group on the second Saturday morning of the month, complete with bacon rolls! Mums are very jealous. Each week Hoppers serves around 90 families, offering a wide range of activities, including messy craft and song time. Hoppers celebrate Mothers Day, Fathers Day and other festivals, and all the parents feel special when they receive small gifts at these times.
Hoppers is led by Sue Latham with the assistance of a team of dedicated volunteers and two teams of tea ladies from the community.
The Zone opened at the beginning of October 2015 and has met monthly since on the first Saturday on the month. All families with primary-aged children are made welcome to enjoy crafts, games and light refreshments. On average 7 families have attended each session, supported by a strong team of volunteers, bringing nearly 30 children and adults together monthly.
The Zone has had an amazing start to its journey and the vision is that the group will continue to enable more and more families to spend time together; developing and strengthening relationships together.
The Space meets after school weekly on a Thursday and is a drop-in safe place for young people to come and spend time, play games, eat food, do homework and talk to members of the youth team. The group has been running since September 2015 and serves young people who attend the local secondary school. Average weekly numbers are continuing to grow. The project is run by Mat Morton, supported by a team of volunteers. Mat added “the biggest highlights would be the relationships we've managed to build up with children we have previously never had anything to do with. We have young people who come back every week. The positive response and good feeling towards our group in the community and amongst the parents of the young people who attend the group encourages me that there is hope for us reaching even more of the young people in our community.”
The vision for The Space is to see the team and regular attendance grow massively, and to develop the homework space by obtaining laptops for young people to do homework and CVs on, and for this to become more of a youth hub for all of Wymondham.
Boost ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) project started in April 2011 and has seen around 45 registered students who are from many different nationalities and at different levels in their English language skills pass through the project. The lessons are well attended and very popular amongst the many overseas nationals who have made Wymondham their home.
The project has an ESOL qualified tutor and volunteers who help regularly at the sessions which run on Tuesdays evenings, and the leaders are very blessed to be able to assist the migrant community from Wymondham and surrounding areas as language barriers can make people feel really isolated and lost.
Running for the last 4 years, Meeting Point happens every Friday morning at the Roman Catholic Church, a central location in Wymondham. It is a great place to drop in for coffee and a chat and to make new friends offering a safe and friendly place for anyone who feels lonely or isolated to come and meet others, the group regularly has between 20 and 30 people each week. Whilst the group is open to all most regular visitors are over 60. One ,in her 90s needs her daughter to bring her although she used to come on her own. She often says ‘this is the best cafe in town’ particularly because it is so friendly.
There is a small team of volunteers who serve refreshments, provide birthday cakes and personalised cards and ensure that everyone feels included in the many conversations that take place and the group also organise regular monthly visits to a local, very affordable carvery so that everyone can have lunch together.
Cup of Caring has been running since September 2010 and came about after group leader, Libby Creber, completed an MA in counselling at the UEA. Her research proved that people who care for other people need to socialise to avoid feeling isolated and depressed. Cup of Caring meets twice a month with 25-30 people meeting each time.
Generous grants from local charities and businesses helped the group to develop, grow and put on regular activities with invited speakers and occasional outings. Libby continues “some of the activities we have enjoyed over the last year include an outing to Bressingham Steam Museum, a garden party in Morley St Botolph, sing alongs to harp and keyboard, listening to a musical recital, a trip to the Theatre Royal to see Jesus Christ Superstar, and a Christmas meal, cooked in our lovely new premises by a catering team from Wymondham Abbey.”
Cup of Caring aims to provide a place where carers and the people they care for are able to feel comfortable and relaxed. A team of volunteers provide transport, set up the meeting room, or serve in the kitchen providing refreshments whilst others sit with the people who attend and listen and chat with them. The group gives carers a break from their responsibilities, and the volunteers keep in touch with carers who are going through difficulties and try to support them.
Libby adds “a recent highlight for us was a talk by John Wilthew, entitled Adventures Abroad. This dramatic talk was introduced to us with music from the various countries, interspersed with a quiz and the opportunity to have a taster of the delicacies of food each country offered. We heard about John's walk along the actual valley of the shadow of death in Israel, his mission into Morocco and his escapades supporting Christians in China, no mean feat! “
All are welcome to come along and take part in all the activities put on by The Hub, and for more details of The Hub Project and the activities please call the office on 01953 798505 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.