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A hub at St Lukes for people who need help - offering IT and money management skills to access services & universal credit and to bring lonely and elderly people together in a lovely environment.
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St. Luk'es is an amazing but underused building in Kennington/Vauxhall. There is a lot of local need - for skills, employability, access to services, education, counselling, combatting isolation and loneliness, this especially amongst elderly folk who live alone. The number of single-occupant homes is high and some residents see no-one for weeks. The plan is to address these needs by a huge increase in money matters, financial literacy, IT training, in better equipping parents to home-school and support their children in education, to provide welcoming facilities for older residents, to offer increased basic IT training along with a welcome and a respite area in a small café space. The plan is to offer these services directly, through accredited third parties and to deploy business employee volunteers as trainers, supporters and mentors through a programme of St. Luke's-employer partnerships. We have already established or reached agreement with a number of employers.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
It will offer a dynamic and welcoming go-to space for vulnerable and isolated people. It will be a vibrant community hub for all ages, it will provide a kitchen and a cafe where people can meet and spend social time. It will offer range of classes to help train and educate people, primarily in IT, money management, accessing council and other statutory services. It will provide a small affordable creche, it will provide small pop-up office space for local voluntary organisations. It will offer meeting rooms for local groups and 1:1 meetings such as for counselling sessions, AA meetings and for local residents. The Hub will also link mentors with mentees, bring generations together - our plan is to get local school students volunteering to support local isolated adults. We are underway in attracting corporate support. The impact will be a cross-sector partnership of business, statutory and voluntary support, all designed to enable and empower the local community in the area.
Steps to get it done:
St. Luke's has operated for quite a long time but is critially underused and under-resourced. This plan represents a sea-change in its vision, utility value, reach and impact, all driven by the pandemic. Local people, already i significant needs are in greater need than ever - to support their children with their education, to access essential services - social welfare, job seekers allowance, council tax reductions, pensions, all of which now require basic IT skills. Many people are beholden to money lenders so are caught in a perpetual poverty trap. The facility at St. Luke's is a wonderful but underused facility. There are two parts to it: The rear already provides 26 individual rooms and a common kitchen and community area for residents who rent rooms at lower cost. It has an outstanding business sponsor where many of the residents work and receive the training that allows them to build sustainable working lives. This plan envisions a dynamic hub for other local residents.
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