Following a successful funding application to East Suffolk Council, a local community Hub are able to service hot lunches to vulnerable residents.
East Suffolk ward councillor Mike Deacon has donated £2,020 from his Enabling Communities Budget to St. Philips Community Hub in Felixstowe.
Initially opened in May 2021 by Reverend Paul Clarke of St Marys Church Walton and St Martin in Trimley along with a group of volunteers as a response to Covid 19, the Hub provides a place where people can come for a cuppa, cake and chat to help reduce isolation and loneliness in the community.
As part of this, the Hub now offers a weekly light lunch, where people can sit down with others to enjoy a warm meal in a relaxed social environment throughout the darker winter months where many feel at their most vulnerable and lonely.
This funding has enabled the Hub to purchase the equipment required to make the lunches as well as enough food for 6 months. Furthermore, the Hub can now also host a Christmas party on 23 December to get everyone into the festive spirit, serving food, drinks and a little Christmas present to those attending.
Additionally, the funding has also enabled the Hub to replace the inefficient lighting in the hall, which now uses brighter and more energy-efficient LED lights.
Cllr Mike Deacon said:
“Social isolation and loneliness can be a real issue for some people, regardless of their age. Events such as this one, offer members of the community the opportunity to get together, enjoy a warm meal and meet new people and I am very pleased to able to support such worthwhile initiative.”
Carolyn Jones, Treasurer of St Marys Church Walton and Volunteer Lead Hub Manager, said:
“Since Covid, many people in our community have felt fearful, lonely and vulnerable, so we started the community hub as a safe meeting place where people can connect with others and get the support needed. Thanks to this funding, we are now also able to offer hot lunches for the 30-40 people who come on a weekly basis as well as a much-needed Christmas celebration next month.”
The Community Hub is free and open to everyone, young and old, every Thursday between 10am – 1.30pm at Wadgate Road, Felixstowe, IP11 2LY.
East Suffolk Council’s Enabling Communities Budgets support activities delivered by community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations. A total of £412,500 has been allocated for 2021/22 from the New Homes Bonus, funding generated through new houses built in the district.
Distributed equally amongst each of the Council’s 55 members, each ward councillor has a £7,500 Enabling Community Budget to spend on community projects or to develop new projects which tackle community needs in their area.
Previous projects which have benefitted from Enabling Community Budget funding include play areas, village hall refurbishments and equipment, community events, projects supporting people with disabilities and the purchase of defibrillators.
Community groups wishing to apply for Enabling Community Budget funding should contact their district councillor or apply online.