Community hub to open in Harold Hill
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Havering's first community hub is to open in Harold Hill next week.
The facility will be based at the council's former housing office in Chippenham Road from June 8, until a permanent location at Harold Hill Library is ready later in the year.
It will offer advice and support to residents, host drop-in sessions with ward councillors and provide help to anyone looking for a job.
Councillor Viddy Persaud, cabinet member for public protection and safety, said: “I am really pleased that we will open our first hub. We want to make it easier for residents in Havering to access council services and this new hub is just the start of this.
"At the hub, people will be able to get advice and support on helping to find a job, get access to free wi-fi and equipment alongside training and skills opportunities, as well as a wide range of social activities.
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"The great thing is that local residents have helped with the design and build of this too."
She said the hub will also include a community food shop, where members who pay a "small" weekly fee can get fresh fruit and vegetables and other grocery essentials.
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Partner organisations for the hub include Peabody, Havering Mind and Havering Volunteer Centre.
The council said volunteers from housing firm Wates Residential had helped with work on the site, which had been disused for two years.
This included building new partition walls, laying vinyl floors and decorating.
Cllr Persaud added: “It’s a great use of the building, as we look to improve the whole of Chippenham, Farnham and Hilldene.
"We are so grateful to the efforts of Wates Residential and the council housing service for getting the site ready and contributing to the community in this way.
"People have had a rough time recently and we can now look forward to opening the doors to kick off this new phase in community-led regeneration.”
Adrian Fennessy - operations director at Wates Residential, which has partnered with the council in the 12 Estates regeneration project - said it was a pleasure for the company to be able to contribute to the initiative.
To join the community food shop and find out more about the hub, visit: www.haveringcommunityhub.com/harold-hill.