Staple Hill residents and community groups came together this week to celebrate the official opening of a new community hub, dedicated to improving the local community.
Aiming to tackle deprivation affecting the local area and enhance the lives of its residents, the Staple Hill Community Hub was launched at its newly refurbished home in a Merlin-owned flat at Berkeley House this week. The hub has evolved from the Our Place Community Flat but is widening its focus, providing new services and aiming to work in partnership with more local groups that are working to improve the area.
Hub Chair and Staple Hill Councillor Shirley Potts said: “It was a great day; Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire came along to launch the hub along with lots of local organisations.
“Our Place had to evolve as it’s got involved with more local partnerships with the council, Merlin and others. There has already been lots going on; the friendship club has been helping people who are housebound and suffering from social isolation and the job club has been running for some time to help people find employment and is growing bigger.
“But now we want to build on all the things we are doing and try and encourage more people to get involved. And we want to make sure all the community groups are working with us so the hub becomes a real centre of the community.”
Cam Kinsella, Merlin’s Leader for Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Partnerships, added: “The Staple Hill Community Hub launch was a fantastic day to be involved in. It shows a great amount of progression in the Staple Hill Quality of Life project. Our partners were there on the day working together as one team which is exactly how we will work together now and going forward into a successful future.
“The Hub was showcasing its new services to the community and I very much look forward to the next six months as use of the hub grows.”
The opening of the community hub has coincided with the launch of a new survey by the Staple Hill Quality of Life Project. The project is being run in partnership between Merlin, South Gloucestershire Council, Avon & Somerset Police and others to find solutions to some of the problems facing Staple Hill.
Since its launch last year the project has helped set up four new police, beat surgeries at Page Park every month, set up walking for health sessions, trained people in dementia awareness and handed out more than 300 Sports Pound vouchers to Staple Hill residents, which allow them to use local sports facilities for free.
The survey is asking Staple Hill residents for their views about the area, which will help the project group to identify future areas to focus on to improve the local community.