In 2018 St Mary's Youth Project (SMYP) were given the opportunity to take on the lease of the Methodist Church building as well as the Methodist Hall (which we have been using since 2013). Although we live in a great area, rural deprivation is very real. Lack of facilities and access for young people leads to isolation and negative social media influences for many. Using inputs from our intervention work with young people and their parents, we felt an all-age, active, positive space could be established. We brought a group of 14 young people together from the local schools to discuss how we could create a Community Hub facility.
The themes that came out of the consultation and planning were Climbing, Dance and Music. These are aspects of SMYP that we use for interventions with young people already, so it made sense to highlight these in what quickly became named as "Cleobury Community Hub" or CCH.
The planning committee started in November 2018 with 6 sessions that focused on the young people's understanding of different themes including:-
What is self-esteem and how can we use the CCH to boost it?
What is social isolation and how can we tackle it using the CCH?
Each week we focused on a different theme and enjoyed a practical session too.
From December 2018 - January 2019 we visited different venues for inspiration including climbing walls, steel fabricators and cafés.
During the time of planning and preparation we had applied for a major grant through the Aviva Community Fund linked with Crowdfunder. We managed to get into the final 18 projects from the 173 that had applied. Unfortunately we did not receive the grant but through the exposure of the Aviva voting and Crowdfunder (raising £1100) we had rallied support from within our community and further afield. We managed to gather most of the money needed to develop the concept of the Community Hub and were able to go ahead with the project.
In April 2019 we started work on the building, up-cycling tables and chairs, drawing in local trades persons to help with skilled labour and an amazing amount of young people and their parents to help with painting and creating!
Work then started on the Coffee Shop area that was to become the heart of the Community Hub, being a welcoming and warm place that would help facilitate community.
With the demolition work, first fix and plastering done, we progressed with the next phase... Painting, laying the dance floor, fitting the kitchen units and other fixtures and fittings.
It started to really take shape in late July...
With generosity from so many people, both practically and financially, with a couple of small grants too, we opened the Cleobury Community Hub on the 13th September 2019.
We now have a fully functioning café open twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays) from 10am-6pm. We have a Parent/ Toddler group on Tuesdays and Soft Play on Fridays. We also host Dance lessons 3 days a week but we are missing the final piece of our community jigsaw... Climbing!
Climbing is a massive part of SMYP. We use it for mental health interventions, for boosting confidence and self-esteem, problem-solving, health and wellbeing, fitness, socialisation, trust and the list goes on.
The only problem is... We do not have our own wall. We have to travel for any of the sessions we do, whether it is our weekly Climbing Club, Family Climbing sessions, Kids Club Climbing or our Active Education programme. All of these activities require travelling and reduce our intervention/ session time. By having our own climbing wall we will be able to increase the amount of sessions we do along with building more programmes to support all people within our rural community.
We need your help to purchase a bouldering/climbing wall. We will situate it at the front of the CCH building behind the dance mirrors. This will complete the multi-function capability of the building, allowing us to offer all the facilities, interventions and support to the community from one local space.
The cost of the climbing wall is £25,000. We have submitted multiple grant applications but will still fall short without your valuable support. Please choose to donate to our charity that works with all ages, from all backgrounds, to help people become the best version of themselves. This is the final element of our project and we know that with your support we will accomplish it and positively impact our rural community in a massive way.
Thank you for taking the time to view our page.
All at SMYP