Lordship Hub - community building in every sense
We think of ourselves as the beating heart of Lordship Rec as Lordship Hub was the centrepiece of the major regeneration of Lordship Rec, Tottenham's largest park. Since 2001 local people had worked passionately to improve and restore the park they love and were part of the team, with the Council, who developed and planned the Hub building and the re thinking of the park for the enjoyment and pleasure of local residents. Since then, a once desolate and isolated place has become a hive of activity again and is a favourite destination for thousands across Haringey and beyond and the Hub remains a vital part of the continuing development of the park.
From small beginnings
The Hub started with just a small group of committed volunteers but as we built up the business we were able to employ staff as well. Now we run a Community Café 7 days a week, maintain public toilets and run 2 rooms for community events, 40+ classes a week and private parties. We are a community co-operative and any surplus made goes straight back into making the Hub even better. We try, as far as is feasible, to make the building inclusive and accessible for all. A cup of tea is still 90p!
A multi-use building for everyone
Local practitioners run classes at subsidised rates until they build up class sizes and local park voluntary groups use the building for free, for meetings, office and breathing space, to support their work in the park. We also have art exhibition space in the café for local artists to use for free. Our classes range from chair exercise and over 50s activities to music and singing for babies and toddlers, art sessions and singing for adults and a variety of excercise and relaxation techniques.
We are inextricably linked to the park and its future and work with local groups who organise conservation and sports events there and use the building for indoor workshops, performances etc. We meet monthly with the Council and other park groups to co-manage the park and oversee improvements and maintenance. We also organise our own well-loved, free seasonal events.
Making lanterns for Halloween Walk in the park
Caribbean Line Dancing at Hub Birthday
Volunteering is at our heart
We really value our volunteers. One of our key aims is to be a place where people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities can volunteer and feel part of their community. Our governing board are all local volunteers, some people volunteer doing necessary jobs around the building and many help in the cafe where they gain skills (barista training) and food hygiene/first aid certification and have the opportunity to meet lots of people. People volunteer for a variety of reasons; to give back to the community, to gain skills or learn english, or to feel part of something and reduce feelings of isolation. Others with learning difficulties come as part of their general life skills training and can feel a useful part of everyday life. Everyone gets a free meal and time credits to spend on lots of entertaining and useful outings.
As a co-operative, we have lots of members and encourage them to take part in the daily life of the Hub and decision making. Many customers have used the Hub since we opened and we have seen their families grow and new generations enjoying the space. Some pop in a couple of times a day for a tea, a sit down and a chat, others come in to do knitting and embroidery together or to discuss gardening and possible conservation projects in the park. Groups of parents with babies or toddlers sit together comparing notes and getting some respite from their tiring lives.
Why we need your help
We have been closed since late March and even before that people were understandably cancelling hire arrangements for parties and classes. We have therefore lost around £50,000 in trading income while we continue to pay overheads and 2 of our vital staff. We also had 2 people lined up to run the marathon for us and that was cancelled so we may also have lost £5000+ expected, and planned for, extra income that we needed. We also were not eligible for the government business interruption grant and our insurers refused to pay out too. In order to reopen as a takeaway we need to make various adjustments to the building like creating a serving hatch to our outside terrace and other safety aspects inside the building to protect our staff and volunteers. We subsidise a lot of our activities in order to be inclusive and allow voluntary park groups to use the building for free so our margins are those of an ordinary "for profit" business, so we are much more vulnerable to any cashflow fluctuations. We are applying to other funding streams and still hope to have some success there but truly need your support too.
We are many things to many people and it would be a terrible loss for all of us were the Hub not to survive this crisis. We have a lot more to offer and we feel we are only just at the start of our journey.
Many thanks to all who have so generously donated and left such beautiful comments.