In 2017 a community-led exercise in the Cambridgeshire village of Brampton was taking shape. The exercise culminated with a village survey in which nearly a third of the village households responded and this all led to the creation of the Brampton Village Hub.
The survey resulted in the formation of 6 new community organisations:
- The pop-up community library which has recently been selected by civic as a national model
- An IT Mentoring Group
- A Good Neighbour Scheme
- A Village Events Group
- A Social Walks Group
- A Cycling Club.
Two years on all except the last are still running. The Hub also includes two groups which existed before the survey, a Befrienders Group and a Surgery and Hospital Car Lift Scheme. The latest member to join the Hub is a Living with Dementia Social Group, which was formed in 2018. As well as organising monthly events the group are working for Dementia Friendly Community status.
Each of the Hub members has a working group responsible for the services they deliver.
Their elected county councillor and the chairperson of the parish council attend the meetings which are held three or four times a year. The hub is funded by Brampton Parish Council.
Between them, the Hub organisations have more than 80 volunteers, currently offers more than 20 community services and arranges or funds well-being related services provided by external organisations.
The Hub offers members several services which include funding, accounts management, insurance, policy guidance, DBS registration for its members and safeguarding training (all run by volunteers). This assists newly formed organisations, enabling them to deliver new schemes at pace. Our Dementia Support Group is a prime example. Formed in November 2018 it now has more than 40 registered members and feedback from the Alzheimer’s Society is that this leads the field in getting a new group up and running so quickly. In addition to the above, the Parish Council funds the production of a monthly village magazine which provides a shop window for community groups.
Three new projects currently being worked on.
- A Men’s Shed (Men’s Sheds tackle the problem of older men becoming socially isolated which can lead to several health and well-being issues but sheds can include Women and more sheds than ever are combined).
- A dementia choir. A choir director has been found and it is planned to advertise widely for participants.
- Another aspect of Hub work is building links with external organisations to enhance the range of services available to the community and to take referrals for people in the community who need support.
The Hub has built several important relationships over the past two years.
- Cambridgeshire County Council who provide general advice and support into the hub.
- Huntingdonshire District Council who provide fall-prevention exercise classes. The Hub pays for a hall to hold the weekly activity and advertises the sessions.
- The British Gymnastics Foundation who provide cognitive enhancement exercise classes for people living with dementia. The Hub pays for a hall to hold the weekly activity and advertises the sessions.
- The Alzheimer’s Society and the local doctor’s surgery who refer people to them.
- The Age UK Handyperson Service who undertake small household jobs for Brampton residents.
- The RAF Benevolent Fund who provide respite care for ex-RAF personnel.