Headingley Rotary club for their final January 2018 meeting welcomed Tom Booth whose subject was the Headingley Community Hub. The idea of Community Hubs was formed back in 2013 as part of the Leeds Citizen Agenda of putting residents first. There were four main objectives: to provide accessible services, to help people with financial/debt issues, helping people get into work and finally responding to local needs. Horsforth have already opened one in their Library and a small centre will shortly be opening in Hawksworth Wood.
The exact date of the Headingley launch will depend on the progress of building works, but he hoped we would accept an invite to attend. The staff of the Headingley library, currently relocated to a much smaller unit, will be retained and they will be joined by two extra staff brought in to deal with services provided by the council e.g. housing, street lighting, refuse, rates etc. One new service to be offered in Headingley is the registration service for e.g. births, deaths, currently in either Yeadon or the City Centre. This should be much more convenient for many. It is anticipated (but it is still in negotiation) that the Post Office will also be relocated within the Community Hub on 1st April.
They also will be working with the voluntary/charity sector to provide services requested by the local residents. Examples at Horsforth include the Leeds City Credit Union who hold drop-in sessions, Trading Standards, Citizens Advice and Job Shop. Last year the latter organisation helped 3,500 people into full or part-time work by providing help with finding jobs, with building C.V’s and with interviewing skills. Local groups/businesses are also involved, for instance Barclays Bank at Moor Allerton provide help to people who need to access material on-line but are not able to do so themselves. Help on welfare rights could be another service. They are working with Headingley Owls to help counteract issues of loneliness and social exclusion perhaps by having group activities such as reminiscence session, crafts, gardening & D.I.Y, etc.
In answer to questions it was confirmed that the actual library holdings would be about 90% of the previous capacity, the 15 computers would be moved into the main area and that a children’s area would be in the old computer room. It would be open seven days a week, and the hours would remain as before – open until 7 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, until 6.00 on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Ernest Kirby gave the Vote of Thanks and a special brain-storming session to garner ideas to carry the Club forward into the future followed in the committee room.
AL Jan 2018