New Community Hub now open for residents to access support as the recovery from COVID-19 gathers pace
The hub has officially opened to provide town-wide support to residents as part of a targeted response to the challenges that are still impacting our community since the pandemic hit over 18 months ago.
Based on the success of the council-run community response to COVID-19, Rainbow Services deliver the hub function in partnership with Mind in West Essex, Harlow Foodbank, Citizens Advice and the Volunteer Centre Harlow. This service was commissioned by the council after it received Government funding awarded by Essex County Council.
The Community Hub is available to all Harlow residents and runs until April 2022. It offers a range of services for people affected by crisis situations, as well as information on community and physical activities, access to volunteering and regular support workshops. A review of the service will be conducted in advance of April 2022 by the council to understand its potential future role.
Councillor Joel Charles, Deputy Leader of Harlow Council, said:
“Thanks to £90,000 of Government funding, awarded by Essex County Council, the district council is able to pilot this new service to provide support to some of the most vulnerable people in our town, who have been impacted the most during the pandemic. The council will be reviewing the pilot service and the positive impact it delivers to understand the potential of such a hub to lay the foundations for longer-term community benefit.
“The new service will also aim to help contain the potential spread of COVID-19 and is a vehicle to build more resilience within the community to confront the ongoing challenges Harlow may face in the months ahead. By assisting vulnerable residents to self-isolate, access vaccinations and receive appropriate support in an emergency situation, the council aims to empower our community to regain a greater sense of freedom and confidence as part of the work to rebuild post-COVID.”
Sharon Summerfield, CEO of Rainbow Services Harlow, said:
“The community response to COVID-19 in Harlow has been amazing, with so many selflessly volunteering to help others through incredibly difficult times. We hope to maintain that community spirit and continue to help people not just through the pandemic, but through other crisis situations they may find themselves in as well.”
It is also possible to visit the hub in the Harvey Centre on the 1st floor every Friday, between 11.30am and 1.30pm, or at the Foodbank at St Paul’s Church every Monday from 12pm to 2.30pm, and at regular pop-up sessions throughout the town.
For more information on where the Community Hub pop-ups will be, please visit Rainbow Services Facebook page or visit: www.rainbowservices.org.uk/communityhub