What is Wargrave Big Local?
Wargrave Big Local (WBL) is a resident-led community partnership that works towards making Wargrave a better place to live. We are one of 150 partnerships across the country run by Local Trust with lottery funding. WBL was awarded one million pounds over ten years, and the Partnership is charged with spending the funding through an action plan.
The ethos of WBL is to try and work collectively and to build positive relationships with individuals, local groups, and partner agencies. It does not get involved in political or religious activity. WBL is not a typical community group; we don’t have a bank account. Big Local holds the money for us and we draw on the support and advice of our Local Trusted Organisation, Torus Foundation, who do our finances.
What is a community hub?
Our hub – once an empty, disused building – has been transformed into a community asset, providing a multitude of much-needed services for the people of Wargrave. It will be a ‘safe space’, where people can feel comfortable expressing their hopes and concerns without judgement, and – in some cases – feel physically safe.
By working with other community groups and organisations, we will be able to provide a wide range of services and information to local residents, all under one roof. This includes hosting support groups and events, providing computer/printer access and training in our dedicated IT suite, and offering courses and activities relating to the environment, gardening, arts and crafts, and more.
How do community hubs benefit the local community?
Community hubs are all about support. We are encouraging various support services to come and work in Wargrave, rather than residents having to travel outside of the area to access these services. Local community members are empowered to work with these organisations, and WBL can provide funding to help them establish a base right here in Wargrave with the goal of these services continuing to stay local after the funding has finished.
Our hub is dedicated to bringing in, or linking people to, the services the community needs to make residents stronger, healthier and more resilient. With the use of drop-in sessions, activities, open days and outreach work, the resources available at our community hub will be able help Wargrave transition into a thriving, resident-driven community, where people can access the training, support, services, and assistance they need.
How can I become more involved?
As Wargrave Big Local is resident-led, we are always looking for people to join us. Please fill out our Register of Interest form » to become involved in the decision-making process for YOUR community, or simply to find out more information.
Does it cost anything to join a group or make use of the facilities?
Some of our facilities and events are free-of-charge, such as the ICT suite and coffee mornings. We do have a room hire policy for anyone who wants to use the Hub, and this is at the partnership’s discretion. Please contact us for more details if you are interested in hiring out the space.
What are the opening hours? Will the Hub be open during evenings and weekends?
We aim for the Hub to be open a range of days and hours. Due to current lockdown restrictions, we are unable to finalise a timetable at this time.
I would like to start a group. How can I use the facilities at the Hub?
Have you got a Bright Idea for Wargrave? The Hub can be used for groups to create community activism and link up with people who can help make the changes residents want to see, or just to get together and talk about what’s important for the local area.
We encourage people to come together to create positive change for the community, and we do have community chest grants available to help with funding if your idea fits the criteria set out in the Big Local ethos and values. See our community chest grants »
What kind of services, organisations or agencies will accessible via the Hub?
We will have services that fit in with our three themes – a Stronger, Healthier and Greener Wargrave.
Stronger: Job clubs, courses to upskill people, IT courses, financial inclusion information and assistance, and Citizen’s Advice are just a few examples of what we will be offering. A Stronger Wargrave »
Healthier: Exercise classes, healthy eating courses, well being activities, mental health services, and advice and assistance on tackling food poverty. A Healthier Wargrave »
Greener: Arts and crafts, environmental awareness training, a community garden, information and advice about recycling and reducing our carbon footprint, and coming together to be proactive on local environment issues such as dog fouling and litter. A Greener Wargrave »
We are a referral network so if services are not actually present at the hub, we can link you to them.