New hub club for the whole south community
A WELCOMING, comfortable hub with an ambient atmosphere, warm colours and soft leather sofas is being created in the south for use by the entire community.
The establishment of the hub – known as the hub club – in Thie Rosien (the former Southlands), Four Roads, Port Erin, is in direct response to research into gaps in the community undertaken in 2009 by Janet Bridle for the then Department of Health and Social Services.
‘Loneliness and isolation across all generations and people of all social standing was a big feature,’ said Janet, who is co-ordinator of the Southern Community Initiative (SCI), established to progress ideas from the research.
‘People do not know what’s going on in their community and what’s involved, they wanted to volunteer but did not know what for, also there was a misunderstanding between generations, [the perception that] all young people in hoodies were threatening and all old people were grumpy.
‘There were positives, that it is safe and friendly place to live. If you do get involved, it’s great, sometimes it’s getting involved that’s the problem.’
The hugely successful Men in Sheds project arose from the research, which identified isolation in retired men as a particular problem, and a shed was opened in March 2011.
Men now meet on a regular basis in a shed just outside Thie Rosien. It is so successful they are expanding into a second shed, for which planning permission has just been granted.
‘When Men in Sheds was setting up, we had all these meetings in Thie Rosien and I had all these other things in my mind,’ said Janet. ‘It seemed what was needed was somewhere people could come together to start alleviating loneliness and isolation and get into the community.
‘Men in Sheds showed if you give the community a project and it fits, it can fly. Thie Rosien was somewhere central, people are coming to it anyway. It is on the bus route, you can park, people have to go past it to go to the doctors’ and school. It was calling out for something to happen there, that’s what we started concentrating on. It [the building] pulled it together. The Southern Community Initiative was established to look at the broader issues. The hub club became the obvious answer.’
Decoration of the club should begin at the end of this month. Janet’s on the look out for good quality furniture, appropriate donations would be welcomed.
Funding for the scheme has come from several local businesses and the Manx Lottery Trust.
The potential range of uses of the hub club is as broad as the community it will cater for. ‘People can come in and have a cup of coffee, some cake, meet people, find out about community volunteering,’ said Janet. ‘It could be a meeting place for Men in Sheds and for other charities to have meetings there. We are hoping to have something for silver surfers. I hope there will be something for the youth. Our kids have become more isolated, they are sitting in their bedrooms on computers or watching TV, why not have some kind of internet cafe? It would require funding and require the youths themselves to say what they want. It would be well structured and well organised.’
The hub club would be staffed, by Janet and volunteers, hopefully from groups such as local Wis and church groups.
She said: ‘A lot of things are at the planning stage, we are looking for the community to engage in it, we will provide the place, tell us what you want and we will help it to happen. It’s got potential as long as people get engaged, it’s up to us to do it.’
• Learn more about the hub at a SCI AGM on Monday, October 22, at 7.30pm at Thie Rosien.
Refreshments will be served.
For information, contact Janet, phone 835436 or email Jbridle(at)manx.net.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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