Inclusivity is at the very heart of the Fitzherbert Community Hub and we are creating a place where the diverse people of East Brighton can connect and thrive. This is the first in a series of short films looking at the richness of the communities represented in the hub and the importance of having a space where we can come together as a community, forming strong friendships and building bridges across artificial barriers of age, class, ability and race.
The Community Hub is located in an area with a high density of seniors housing and this has been factored into the design of the building and our services, from accessibility, to affordability, to inclusivity. Many older people living locally have been priced out of participation in leisure activities and may even struggle to afford a cup of coffee out. This has led to high levels of social isolation and inactivity. Our daily “pay as you feel” café will provide the community with a social focal point, where participation is not governed by affordability. The involvement of a grassroots sports club, Brighton Table Tennis Club, will also offer opportunities to improve physical fitness in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
As the charities collocated at the Fitzherbert Community Hub are heavily reliant on support from volunteers, we feel particularly lucky to be able to draw on the experience and time of older people living locally who are so generous in their support. This is a two-way street and many of our volunteers report a renewed sense of purpose.
Sandie, who sports a magnificent line in accessories (look out for these in the film!) volunteers at the Community Café and has found the experience really life-affirming. She says
“I know I’m peeling potatoes, but I’m peeling potatoes for a purpose……it gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning”.
Emily, from Time to Talk Befriending, a local charity offering intergenerational befriending services, says
“there is a need and a desire for people to feel connected, to feel visible…..to feel like they belong and not be hidden behind the four walls of their homes”.
We look forward to welcoming more volunteers to the Fitzherbert Community Hub once we open in our refurbished premises in Spring 2022!
We are a community of communities, welcoming and nourishing all with food, friendship and fun!
The Community Café will continue to open on Wednesday at lunchtime 12.30 – 2 pm until the construction of the Fitzherbert Community Hub starts. Don’t forget we are also running an open-access food bank out of the parish hall every Sunday from 12.30 – 1.30 pm.