People can use the hub to access free face to face support on a range of issues such as managing finances, health and wellbeing, employability and skills.
The hub also hosts sessions by local organisations including Cliff Park Community Church Wellbeing Group and Camerados, an organisation which hosts ‘public living rooms’ across the country to encourage social interaction. A ‘playdate’ session also takes place every Friday morning for children aged 5 and under.
Orbit worked with social enterprise Volunteer It Yourself, to re-vamp the community space and enlisted the help of young local residents to gain hands-on work experience in trade skills, to give the building and garden a new purpose.
Lucy McGovern, Head of Thriving Communities at Orbit, said: “Having a local presence and being able to offer people the face to face support they need to lead happy and fulfilled lives is really important to us. By working with partner organisations, suppliers and local volunteers, we’ve transformed an unloved building into a place which offers a safe place for people to seek help, build friendships and support networks and socialise with their neighbours.”
19 local young volunteers recruited from the local Orbit housing community, YMCA Norfolk, Catch-22 Great Yarmouth and Dial Great Yarmouth, had the opportunity to work on the project and gain valuable trades experience, 14 of whom achieved Entry Level three City & Guilds accreditations in Carpentry and Health & Safety.
Tim Reading, CEO and co-founder at Volunteer It Yourself, said: “The work carried out at the community hub was quite extensive, and involved building new decking and a pergola in the garden, as well as new kitchen units and a complete redecoration throughout – enabling lots of local young people to gain real life construction experience and accreditations. We’re really proud of our mission to upskill local young people, including young Orbit customers, whilst bringing community spaces back to life to be able to deliver valuable services for local residents.”
The hub was officially opened by the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Penny Carpenter at a celebration event for the community which included free face painting, sports and arts activities, birds of prey handling and more.
The Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor Penny Carpenter, said: ‘’I was delighted to be invited to open what will be a valuable community resource in Gorleston. To see Orbit’s transformation of the venue to create the new Better Days hub was exciting, and the support it will offer people in the borough will be vital. The number of different organisations who will be involved in offering help for our residents is a tribute to everyone involved. It is also heartwarming that local young people had the opportunity to be involved in shaping the hub and helping to create such a fantastic new venue.’’
Orbit hosts a free coffee morning at the Hub every Wednesday from 10.00 – 13.00 where customers can drop-in and chat to a member of the Thriving Communities team. There are also scheduled visits from the Property Manager, Estates Services Manager, health and wellbeing partners and community Police Officers.
For more information about the activities running at the Better Days Hub in Gorleston-on-Sea visit: https://www.orbitcustomerhub.org.uk/help-support/events/better-days-community-hub-timetable-autumn-2023/
With more community spaces to be renovated in Great Yarmouth by VIY in the coming months, get in touch with the team on email@example.com if you know or work with any young people who may benefit from this experience.