As part of One Croydon’s Locality Operating Model, CVA is supporting the development of Community Hubs:
"A ‘close-to-home’, accessible and welcoming place where local residents will feel comfortable going to access wrap-around support including connection to local activities".
One Croydon Community Hubs are located in existing Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) venues that are already known to residents and are open on a set day and time.
Community Hubs are not new, but in Croydon they’ve taken on new significance - as part of Croydon’s recovery from Covid-19, bankruptcy and the cost-of-living crisis. They are different – they might relieve pressure on statutory services, but they won’t replace them. The Community Hubs supported by CVA are transformational – they put communities in the lead, support people to become more independent and turn the traditional service model on its head. Supporting Community Hubs is going to form a large part of CVA’s new 2024-30 Strategic Plan.
We are looking to expand the network of Community Hubs in Croydon to create an integrated network of community-led hubs in every locality and create a Central Croydon Hub in the Centrale shopping centre signposting people to their local hubs and voluntary sector (VCS) services. This means collaborating with our VCS partners who also work in an asset-based way to support the kind of neighbourhood-level social activities that underpin our Community Hub model.
Thanks to the National Lottery-funded Healthy Communities Together programme, a new wave of Community Hubs is being resourced through the Localities Commissioning Model – set up by CVA and Age UK Croydon to improve access to community support alternatives. For example:
- His Grace’s Community Hub in Thornton Heath is creating a Safe Space Café for young people and a Chill Zone to support better mental health, alongside their existing advocacy and healthy-eating support
- Disability Croydon are setting up the Our Space Community Hub in the town centre to host a diverse range of community activities alongside financial, health and well-being support
- Floating Counselling Support is setting up a Community Hub in Woodside to host an accessible transport resource, run a Pop-In for later life and extend the reach of their Heat and Eat schemes
- The Old Lodge Lane Baptist Church is setting up an integrated Community Hub to provide food relief and wrap-around support addressing health inequalities – partnered by the Coulsdon Community Partnership whose Hive Garden will host workshops, open days and Farm to Plate healthy eating and well-being events
- Centre of Change in New Addington are also joining up services to sustain and extend their collective reach - utilising existing assets such as Selsdon Contact's minibus and Good Food Matters’ healthy eating and growing space
- New Addigton Pathfinders, One Croydon first Community Hub, set in the heart of Central Parade in New Addington, it has been running for over 14 months and is lead by a team of volunteer community champions.
- Family Centre Fieldway; we are working with the Family Centre to extend an existing vibrant community hub, already offering Housing, Food insecurity and other support, to strengthen the offer.
- Brigstock Road, supported by the Asian Resource Centre Croydon and hosted by Age UK Croydon, with many voluntary and statutory services in attendance.
Moving forward, we see a Hub and Spokes model taking shape, with the Community Hubs in each locality integrating with specialist Youth Hubs, Food Hubs and Mental Health Hubs.
Youth Hubs form part of the Croydon Model of Youth Provision being developed by the Croydon Youth Consortium, backed by a new Fund that will help shape a network of Youth Hubs in Croydon as settings for youth service delivery that offer facilities and services for children and young people at risk - in safe and attractive places
The Foodbank Network supported by CVA has operated Food Hubs since the pandemic - under an exciting new initiative funded by the GLA we will:
- Support six partners to run a Food Hub in each locality backed by a Croydon-wide campaign to increase donations of food, clothes and essentials through a central re-distribution hub and to recruit and manage volunteers (and volunteer drivers) to support the Food Hubs
- The Community Hub and Spokes model will bring a cohesion and coordination to every locality, across a growing activity-base underpinned by the diverse network of community connections we’re building. Stronger links with Primary Care Networks is our next priority.