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Hub helps community spirit grow on the hill

A new wave of community spirit is sweeping Mount Pleasant and its coming from a flat on Rhondda Street.

hub on the hill

Following an invitation to share what mattered to them, people living in the area responded that it would be nice to have somewhere to meet neighbours, make new friends and become involved in different activities.

Now a group of volunteers has a base that has been named the Hub on the Hill and it is becoming a focal point of activity for the local community.

Swansea-based housing association Coastal provides the accommodation, covering rent and utilities costs, and Swansea Council's Local Area Coordinator for Mount Pleasant Claire McCarthy-Reed helped to introduce people and come up with ideas.

But it is the residents that have driven the project forward and turned the hub into the vibrant and welcoming place that it is today.

Lots of different groups and social events now operate from the centre with activities that are attracting people of all ages. Since it opened in March 2018, the hub has hosted over 150 different activities, groups and events.

It is also being used by other partners such as South Wales Police who stage Cuppa with Copper events there so residents can keep in touch and report any concerns.

There have even been street parties organised and run by the volunteers.

Resident Gemma Collins said: "Local People felt like they didn't have a base, a connection to make friends or get involved, the Hub on the Hill has given a bit of hope."

Fellow resident Leonie Ramondt said: "Local Area Coordinator Claire was wonderful for giving us an anchor. For helping us feel confident, trusted and supported. She had a fabulous sense of humour which helped us to bond and settle and feel confident enough."

Coastal said the idea of Hub on the Hill fitted exactly with its vision of providing homes and services that allowed its tenants to thrive and the communities it serves to prosper.

Geraldine Osbourne from Coastal Housing said: "When we sent an open invite a couple of years ago, people in Mount Pleasant responded and this was the start of this great adventure: 'The Hub on the hill'.

"We are very proud of our involvement with the Hub, but, beyond providing the property and introducing people to the Local Area Coordinator, our involvement really has been minimal. Residents use and organise the space as they want and the hub is fast becoming the focus point for the community."

The hub is also a great example of how Swansea Council's Local Area Coordination Scheme, part-funded by Coastal Housing, supports people to build their version of a good life, stay strong and connected and feel and safer and more confident in their future.

Mark Child, Cabinet member for Care, Health & Ageing Well, said: "There are many individual stories of how our local area coordinators have helped people make connections in their communities, build new friendships and share their skills and interests.

"Clare was able to use the relationships she had built to bring people in Mount Pleasant together and support them to make the hub the welcoming and widely used place it has become.

"The whole ethos behind local area coordination is supporting people to identify their strengths and needs, find practical ways of doing things they want or need to do and develop personal and local networks so people feel part of and connected to their communities."

Even though there is plenty going on at the Hub on the Hill there is still space for more.

Anyone calling in will receive a very warm welcome or visit the Facebook page "Hub on The Hill - Mount Pleasant".

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