Shropshire Star

Community hub's future secured with exciting plans on the horizon

The Cleobury Community Hub (CCH) concept was developed by a group of young people for their whole community in 2018. Harnessing the interests of young people, staff and volunteers the CCH offers a warm and welcoming space with a small bouldering facility, soft play area and barista coffee shop. Phase 1 - Prove the concept, Phase 2 - Purchase the site, Phase 3 - Develop the CCH to be exclusively for everyone.

Image: Cleobury Community Hub

In 2018 with the help of an amazing group of young people, the Cleobury Community Hub was created for the whole community. The local Methodist Church, which had supported the youth work for many years, closed the church for regular worship in the summer and then our real work started.

St Mary's Youth Project (our previous charity name) had been working with young people in the town of Cleobury Mortimer since 2009. In 2012 we were offered the use of Methodist Hall to create a Youth Hub. The young people designed, painted, upcycled and worked hard to renovate an old building and in October 2013 the Youth Hub opened 3 days a week for young people to drop-in, enjoy the different games offered and our milkshake bar, as well as organised activities too.

When the church closed it's doors for regular worship in 2018 the young people got to work. We delivered 6 sessions to a group of young people. Each of the sessions focused on areas of emotional intelligence and how that interacts with people in different spaces. Exploration of what would be a welcome addition to the town and how people would feel welcomed as they entered. This shaped what activities would be in the CCH, along with the decor.

In September 2019, the lease was signed and some of the work was done. We viewed this five year lease as Phase 1, a concept proving exercise for Phase 2, a purpose built facility. We never envisaged buying the building in the hope to develop it and create a diverse space for all ages and abilities, but that has become the vision as we have journeyed with the community.

With the help of individual donors, small grants and fundraising we managed to secure half of the money needed to purchase the site. We applied to The National Lottery’s Reaching Communities Fund, who saw how valuable the CCH is to our community. They visited and acknowledged the incredible work our volunteers do and how everyone that crosses the threshold feels welcomed and valued. It is the generosity of those who believe in what goes on at the Cleobury Community Hub that makes it what is is.

We want to publicly thank The National Lottery for their support in match funding so we can purchase the Cleobury Community Hub, securing its future and enabling us to take it to the next level. Their support will help us reach Phase 3, developing the site for our all ages and abilities within our community and beyond to enjoy for the future! The plans are exciting, pop in and have a look or check out our social media for regular updates.

Image: Cleobury Community Hub

The plans include: 7m high roped climbing wall, accessible climbing for people with disabilities, dance studio, coffee shop and kitchen, more seating, extra rooms and a Changing Places (bathroom with a hoist, changing table and shower). On 24 August, a team of four will be cycling from London to Paris over three days to raise money and awareness of the Cleobury Community Hub’s development.

If you would like to sponsor Nick, Jan, Andy and Mark then please follow the social media posts with links to the fundraising pages. Facebook: Cleobury Community Hub - Instagram: @cleoburycommunityhub.

By Mark Greaves - Contributor

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