We’re delighted to announce that our Parkside Community Hub has won the Building Futures category in the National Housing Federation’s (NHF) prestigious Community Impact Awards.
The Community Impact Awards - which took place at the Bedford Lodge hotel, Newmarket - celebrate the projects that have had a positive impact on people’s lives and local communities.
Officially launched in May 2012 by the Right Honourable Member of Parliament and Secretary of State for Transport, Simon Burns, the Parkside Community Hub - a former health clinic - in Melbourne Avenue, Chelmsford, wastransformed by us to provide local residents with an information technology (IT) training suite; a fully equipped training kitchen; a multi-function room with crèche facility, meeting rooms and a communal garden space.
Debbie Willson, Parkside Community Hub Manager, said: “We’re delighted that the Hub has won, it’s fantastic that our work to help the local community and its residents has been recognised.
"With the Hub we wanted to offer a different approach to tackling social and financial problems. By providing free services, the Hub aims to get residents involved in training so they have the confidence and skills to make long-term lifestyle changes and to help them find work.”
Providing access to information and services, from agencies such as Adult Community Learning, JobCentre Plus, Voluntary Sector Training, Women’s Aid, Chelmsford City Council, Citizens Advice Bureau and Essex Police, helps to build local residents confidence and provides them with the necessary skills to find employment opportunities.
Committed to helping residents enhance their employment skills - by offering courses inIT, literacy and numeracy – the Hub also provides cooking and hygiene lessons to highlight the benefits of preparing nutritious meals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Taking place during school holidays, the Hub also offers activities and events for young people, including neighbourhood respect projects, such as litter picks, to learning arts and crafts and cooking skills.
Sara Stratford, 22, a volunteer and resident who attended the ceremony, said: “Since 2009 I’ve been volunteering at the Parkside Community Hub and I really enjoy it. Not only has my confidence grown, I’ve also gained qualifications in food hygiene, IT and first aid.”