A new community hub is being officially launched next month at Paignton library, where Torbay residents looking for information on where to access local support can have their queries answered face-to-face.
Residents living in Torbay seeking information about local services can visit the Community Hub, located on the ground floor of Paignton Library, next to both Paignton’s train and bus stations on Great Western Road.
The Community Hub was initially launched in March by local non-profit community organisation Engaging Communities South West.
They are working with key partners from the Torbay Health and Wellbeing Voluntary Sector Network, including the Torbay Community Helpline, run by Torbay Community Development Trust, Age UK, Citizen’s Advice Torbay, healthcare consumer champion Healthwatch Torbay, and many others. The service has been funded by a contribution from Torbay Council’s Adult Social Care precept.
The hub is open every weekday from 9.30am – 1.30pm, and have new partners delivering regular drop in services, including Eat That Frog, Carers Support, Torbay Advice Network, and Tidy Home, Tidy Mind.
Local healthcare services are also available on request, with a weekly Diabetic Eye Screening clinic taking place, alongside a pilot with Corner Place Surgery and Public Health Torbay to provide blood pressure checks and a presence from the Torbay Healthy Lifestyles Team, who provide a range of free services and support to help people to make and maintain positive changes in their lives. There is also interest from local care companies in using the hub as a drop in space for domiciliary carers to reduce isolation.
In addition, South Devon College health and social care students will be running a digital support session every Monday and Friday, and their Art Department will soon be filling the walls with student artwork.
An official launch event will be held at Paignton Community Hub on Tuesday 6th June from 12 – 4pm, to celebrate collaborations and the official opening of the hub by local MP for Torbay Kevin Foster. Partners of the hub, supporters and volunteers will be in attendance and refreshments will be provided.
Kevin Foster MP said: “It is great to see this new hub open providing a range of support and advice to residents. Timely advice can make a real difference when facing a difficult situation and this facility ensures it is easy to access when needed.”
Hundreds of members of the local community have already visited the Hub to use these services and speak to someone about queries relating to:
• Health and social care
• Caring for family and friends
• Access to local groups and activities
• Practical and IT support
• Finance and welfare benefits
• Emotional wellbeing including bereavement and isolation
• Domestic abuse and sexual violence
• Other areas already supported via the Torbay Community Helpline (e.g. befriending)
Any member of the public needing help and information is signposted to the most appropriate organisation that can help meet their needs. The new Community Hub is also able to offer these organisations interview space to meet any clients face to face.
“We’re delighted to be able to offer this information and signposting hub to the local community, and it’s been fantastic seeing people face-to-face again.” said Engaging Communities South West CEO Pat Harris, “With this new initiative we want to make it easier for Torbay residents to get the information they need. Getting people to the right place at the right time can make a huge difference to those who are experiencing a range of difficulties and may need some extra help and support.”
Councillor Jackie Stockman, Torbay Council Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health, said: “We’re pleased we’ve been able to secure this funding from our Adult Social Care precept for such a vital service. There may be many people who need advice in the coming months as the cost of living crisis worsens and this hub will serve as a one-stop shop for them and for others needing advice on a range of issues.”
Councillor Christine Carter, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Community Services, said: “It’s great that after the last few years of services being offered remotely, people will be able to seek help in person again right at the heart of the community.”
If you are an organisation who would like to book an interview room to meet with a client or share any local community information via the Hub community noticeboards, or would just like more information about the hub, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07562 780 102.
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