The community hub bringing the heart of Beccles together
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
A newly opened community hub is bringing all sections of the local community together.
Beccles Community Hub, on Blyburgate, is run by Councillor Caroline Topping with the building being owned by Charlie Nevitt, one of the directors of local shop Sportstore.
During the first lockdown, Councillor Topping was one of the members who set up the Covid Recovery Response, which involved shopping for people in isolation, collecting prescriptions and a befriending service.
The community hub is a continuation of this previous volunteer led service as Beccles used to be the only town in the area without a volunteer-led centre.
Describing the hub, Councillor Topping said: "This is so much more than a volunteer centre, it is a bring and take, a community hub and activities centre.
"We do craft sessions for those in social isolation or people who are going through issues like ladies with menopause.
"It helps those get together with like minded people and it is a service where people can talk with one another about their issues.
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"At the moment we are making poppies for the upcoming Remembrance Day."
The reception from the community has been positive as Councillor Topping explained.
"When we open the door there are always people who will come in," she said.
"The place is always buzzing, friendly and there is always something going on but I would appreciate more volunteers."
Owner of the building, Charlie Nevitt was proud to offer the building for such a great cause.
He said: "From my point of view it was a no brainer because of Caroline's enthusiasm and vision.
"The whole mentality of where she is trying to take this project is great and from our point of view we just wanted to be a part of it."
For the future, Councillor Topping added, "We would like to keep building and help more people.
"The social isolation groups we run do require equipment which costs money so we would always be interested in reaching out to local organisations and businesses interested in sponsoring us and we can then advertise this for them."
Beccles Townlands Charity have been kind enough to grant some funding.
The community hub is open every Monday and Wednesday from 10am to 2pm but days and opening hours may increase with more volunteers.