‘It will be so much more than cake and coffee’

An ambitious and exciting proposal to build a £1m community café and outreach centre at Manor Field Recreation Ground, Thurnby, has taken several steps forward over recent months.

At the heart of ‘The Hub’ will be a 60+ seat café, run as a charitable company and open to everyone, seven days a week, serving a wide range of hot and cold drinks and food.

‘The Hub’ is also being designed to extend significantly the church’s outreach offering to and in partnership with the community, at a time when the strictures on government funding cannot match the increasing demand for health and social services. For example in The Hub we plan to link up with national agencies to provide professional, financial and social care advice, use local expertise to provide employment and careers guidance, extend the current St Luke’s dementia programme to include a regular dementia café and join with health providers to offer specialist clinics. And The Hub will also help maintain and enhance the recreation facilities of Manor Field into the future.

Recently designated as one of six Resourcing Churches in Leicestershire, St Luke’s will receive a substantial injection of money from national church funds to employ a number of new staff. Some of these will be focusing on the outreach work of The Hub.

On the legal front, with the District Council’s support, we have negotiated a formal agreement with a family of beneficiaries, who own a restrictive covenant over Manor Field, to allow The Hub to be built and we are about to put the final design together for public consultation and planning permission over the summer.

We can already identify almost half the £1m required to fund the project, including all the legal, planning and tendering costs, and we have a number of capital bids being considered by funding bodies. But we still need to raise more funds, so we are approaching known philanthropists and would welcome assistance from anyone who can help us identify possible donors.

After its success last year, we will be staging a FREE village BBQ on 1st September at Manor Field, in partnership with local groups and shops. We intend to make this an annual event in future, which will be enhanced considerably, once we have The Hub up and running.

We have been really encouraged by the number of people in the community who are keen to use The Hub and are asking when it will be built. If all goes well we will be opening the doors of The Hub by the end of 2019.

If you would like to know more about The Hub please feel free to contact us through info@thurnbychurch.com.