Our centre is a busy hub in the community. In normal times, we offer a youth club, an after school café for families, and we host other community activities and projects. In the period between March and July 2020, we gave out over 350 emergency food parcels. We moved to offering a community pantry in September, regularly supporting approximately 45 families per week since. Whilst we are able to support our local community, we are restricted with how many people we can support in our indoor space and we do have an outdoor space that could help us to increase our capacity and our activity provision. The project simply, makes our outdoor space better. We would do this by adding three picnic benches, two regular benches, and some planters and plants to make it more of a community garden space. It will be an extension of our indoor space enabling us to offer more variety and flexibility in our sessions.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
During Covid 19 the outside area of the centre was used as a waiting area for our community pantry sessions. The space currently does not have any seating or shaded areas to make it a comfortable space to connect or it would have been an excellent space to rest while waiting and to build relationships with our community. These recent times have given us time to reflect on this outside space and what more could be achieved if it was made more welcoming and inclusive. An improved outdoor space will allow us to extend on our current, popular sessions and allow our clubs like our youth provision and Thursday project to move outdoors as and when and utilise a new and inviting space. We want to build on our Thursday project, which is a community café for families with a light meal provided and a craft activity and invite partners in to offer advice and support, such as job coaching and craft sessions.
Steps to get it done:
We have been consulting our local community on what they would like from this space and this is what they are asking for, with more space for the youth group and activities for children and young people. We also know that some residents continue to struggle to go into buildings because of concerns about covid and we see this as a big problem going forward, this area will give them the confidence to come along and help them to start mixing again. The important thing for us is that our local residents make use of the space so we will continue to consult and to evolve with our programme of activities and one-off events, all of which will be easier to do with an additional open and inviting community garden space.
About the space
The Octagon Centre
Malvern Hills District Council