The Village Hub opened its doors in the middle of Covid, ironically, as a place for people to come together, to share and to have fun. Run-down, dirty and empty it was transformed by a team of committed volunteers into a much-loved, welcoming and lively community space.
Lots has happened since those early days… numerous coffee mornings and lunches; creative and crafting workshops galore and frequent sociable trips out & about. There has been an abundance of planting with the recent establishment of a communal garden on the site of the former public toilets; new trees and planters throughout the village and the park and the restoration of the courtyard garden at the back of the Village Hub.
There has also been growth among the staff: there is now a team of eight paid workers at the Hub with everyone sharing the load and working less than twenty hours a week. A grant to help cover core costs until 2027 from the National Lottery Reaching Communities has allowed the team to start to think about the impact of what they do on individuals. Karen Pilkington, one of the Directors of the Village Hub, says they are considering how they embed the notion of ‘care’ into their work:
“We are exploring community coaching; training in how to hold great conversations; becoming trauma informed for ourselves and for others and learning how to deal with conflict in positive and affirming ways.”
And, of course, there’s the positivity that comes from a good ol’ fashioned knees up: join the volunteers from the Village Hub celebrate the best of Stoke at this year’s Stoke Village Fun Day on the 16th of July. It will be blooming wonderful! For more information: www.thevillagehub.org.uk