The Hive Community Hub at Deaf Connections

by Gill Sinclair in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

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We plan to create and pilot a ‘co-working’ workspace where diverse groups will be able to work together in a shared, communal setting.

by Gill Sinclair in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Hive Community Hub Project plans to create and pilot a ‘co-working’ workspace where diverse groups (local businesses, social enterprises, charities and individuals) will be able to work together in a shared, communal setting. The innovative differences for this project, compared to other co-working models, is that we will commit to not-for-profit principles and will provide: Total communication equality for all people, Deaf and hearing, by using on-site BSL interpreters and providing access to BSL training. Total accessibility for all members of the community. Free desks and business mentoring for individuals most in need of the opportunity. Roots in the local community. Shared amenities The workspace is within a deprived area and adjacent to several similarly deprived areas. This project asserts that all people have the right to entrepreneurial aspirations and to pleasant, affordable, accessible co-working environments. We will also provide crèche (or local childcare support), ESOL, multimedia advice, and community café. The space will provide 77 desk/booth spaces, however, due to the flexibility of the space the actual users would be higher at a targeted 100 users signed up for the space. This would be adjusted to suit individual needs depending on actual usage of the space. This particular funding will be able to guarantee one desk space. We will target the following areas: Laurieston Gorbals Govanhill Wider Deaf Community In addition, this project addresses an unmet need in the local community, namely a forum for business engagement and an opportunity for people facing deprivation and disadvantage to access a supported, integrated co-working environment aimed at fostering their business and entrepreneurial aspirations. This project offers substantial advantages over other ‘traditional’ employability schemes, which, although valuable, can preclude those with disabilities and economic disadvantages from participation. Additionally, after identifying participants who are likely to benefit from this project, the co-working environment will foster a strong ethos of integration and collaboration regardless of protected characteristics, status or income. We have currently secured stage 1 funding from European Social Fund, Aspiring Communities Fund, have appointed a design team and carried out a feasibility study for the project. Currently we are looking to raise funding for the project, which can be broken down into small projects as per the budget table below. When some funding is in place we will commence with the co-working space, followed by the kitchen, cafe and the function hall, and finally the mezzanine floor, reception and external works. We would like to start the project during the second half of 2019 and would hope to have it operation in its entirety by mid-2021. We have identified potential partners who will be contacted to form the project steering group. The steering group will be composed of local and strategic representatives, people with life experience, sector experts and local people. The Gorbals Housing Association is a confirmed partner bringing with them a wealth of expertise in comparable projects on community cohesion. Gorbals Housing Association (confirmed) Jobs and Business Glasgow Local community groups Entrepreneurial Spark Laurieston Regeneration/Southside CPP Glasgow City Council Shaw Trust Business Mentoring Executive (Scotland) Social Recreational Committee – Glasgow Deaf Committee Existing Groups using the building: Rapture Theatre, GAMH, etc. Procurement and Funding Advisors (Capital Costs from separate funding) Deaf Connections Lloyds Banking Group: Digital Community Champions Research Scotland Currently we have a small café, De-Café, within the function suite at Deaf Connections, the plan is to have a new kitchen space, which can also be used for training, and refurbish the function suite so it is fit for purpose for community lets. We would then be able to open the café to clients, the Deaf community, the local community, friends, visitors and guests, and provide a range of meals and snacks. The function suite is already used by a number of deaf organisations, after the refurbishment of the function suite, we would advertise the suite more widely and increase its use to include parties, weddings and other celebrations. The income from the co-working space, Café and functions will all help to sustain Deaf Connections and the refurbished areas. External works include; repairs to railings around the building, repairs to front steps accessing the front door, removal of vegetation around the building and repointing and repairs to the external walls.

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