A CHINESE delegation from Wuxi City visited the Parkside Community Hub for the second time to learn more about affordable homes and sustainable communities.
The 18 delegates from Wuxi City - the second largest city in the Jiangsu Province with a population of over six million - received a tour of the Hub to learn how we regenerated garages and a former health clinic to provide affordable new homes and a community training centre.
In November 2011, a Chinese delegation visited the Hub in Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford, Essex; on a fact finding mission following the Chinese government’s announcement to build 36 million social homes by 2015.
This year delegates received a guided tour of the Hub - launched in 2012 by the Right Honourable Simon Burns, Minister of State for Transport and MP for Chelmsford West -by our Chair, Ursula Heelis, Board Trustee, Elizabeth Walker, Chief Executive, Stuart Stackhouse, Director of Housing, Kay Caldwell, and Community Hub Manager, Debbie Willson.
The members, from Wuxi City’s health, urban planning, education, development and real estate management bureaus, were also shown a presentation highlighting the IT, numeracy and literacy, first aid and catering training courses offered at the Hub. The delegates also enjoyed the English tradition of afternoon tea and cakes, which were baked by the Hub’s volunteers.
Ursula Heelis said: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to demonstrate how effective community based initiatives are in providing quality services. To have our ideas support the development of overseas housing in China is marvellous.”
Debbie Willson commented: “The delegates seemed very interested in what we had to say and how we regenerated the area into something which offers our residents high-quality affordable homes and numerous training opportunities.”