It’s not often a small community outfit gets noticed by the regional press so we were thrilled when Katy Honor of the online paper Yorkshire Bylines dropped in to Munchers the week before Christmas.
Here are some highlights from her article…
Pre-covid, the Hub was a focal point for local residents, charities and businesses to find out what was going on locally and connect. Now, Zoom drop-ins are available for people who are unable or unwilling to travel into town.
In addition, every Thursday, staff and volunteers provide food, drink and covid-safe activities for anyone who walks through the door and wants a chat and a cuppa. There is always something for people to do –when I visited it was soap making.
As many services have been cut back due to the pandemic, the support group also signposts people to other charities or services offering support. Many visitors have issues such as addiction, caring responsibilities, long-term physical or mental health problems, or recent redundancy. The impact of covid has meant that many living alone feel particularly isolated.
Everyone I spoke to at the group had their own personal story to tell about how the setting had changed their lives. Colin said, “I was going through a terrible time after my wife died of cancer. One day I walked past and decided to step in. I’ve never looked back. I’ve met some great friends”.
Pat, who is originally from Donegal, explained to me over a cuppa how she has been helped by the hub’s rural business project to develop an idea for an invention – for a gadget to promote child safety. Sharing skills and building connections is one of the many benefits of the hub and groups like this.
Settle Hub is also still operating covid-safe activities through their time bank scheme, where local residents can trade skills in return for time credits.
Other things happening include a buddying system for cookery skills, computer support and allotment help.
I left the group feeling inspired and humbled by the dedication and energy of the volunteers, visitors and staff. Settle Hub is a real beacon of light during these dark days.
We’re grateful to Katy for her kind words and for spreading the news about Settle Hub across Yorkshire. We hope that as well as a beacon the Hub can be a model to inspire other community organisations in their own areas.
The full article can be read on the Yorkshire Bylines website.