The Voluntary Action Calderdale Column – March 2019
Community is about being part of something bigger than yourself. Community is about unity, it’s about support, but most importantly, it’s about people.
Growing up in Hebden Bridge, I have seen firsthand the power of community and the strength that a group of people can have when they come together to help each other. The community response after the bleak fortnight of floods in 2012 and the Boxing Day flooding in 2015 revealed a solidarity and kindness that captured the true meaning of community. Through my job at Voluntary Action Calderdale I meet some amazing local organisations and see the impact that being connected to your community can have on people’s lives.
Community is an easy theme to write about for this column. In Calderdale, there are so many community hubs that provide a friendly and welcoming environment which have been set up purely to support their local community.
Phoenix Radio FM 96.7
Phoenix Radio is an inclusive and accessible community radio station, broadcasting to Halifax and the communities of Calderdale. The station promotes community involvement and provides broadcasting, volunteering opportunities and training for local people, giving them skills and support needed to produce and present radio programmes. In September, 2017, Phoenix Radio won silver in the National Community Radio Awards for Best Community Project of the Year and in 2018 took silver in the Innovation category.
Tune into the Voluntary Action Calderdale show every Friday morning 9am – 12pm on Phoenix FM 96.7. Every week, we have guests on the show from local voluntary and community organisations who talk about their services, volunteering opportunities and events.
For more information or to listen live, visit www.phoenixfm.co.uk
The Cornholme and Portsmouth Old Library
The Cornholme and Portsmouth Old Library is a community building and cafe where everyone is welcome. Based in the centre of Cornholme, The Old Library runs regular weekly events including a Toddlers’ Group (pictured), Job Club and Pay What You Can lunches.
The community hub also offers free access to a bank of computers and during school holidays, provides an array of events such as Film Clubs, Family Supper and Quiz Nights!
For more information, visit www.oldlibrary.org.uk
Town Hall Foundation
Town Hall Foundation is the charitable department of Town Hall Dental and is their way of giving back to the community that has supported them through their journey.
The work of Town Hall Foundation equally funds four key projects:
- Teaching proper dental hygiene
- Teaching adults with disabilities correct dental hygiene
- Providing essential dental care to those in poverty
- Supporting the work of other local organisations
For more information, visit www.townhalldental.co.uk/town-hall-foundation/
Halifax Opportunities Trust & Staying Well
Staying Well is Halifax Opportunities Trust’s flagship project to tackle social isolation within central Halifax. The service supports people to engage in social activities and health services in the community. It makes a huge difference to those who take part, as Sylvia’s story illustrates:
After being diagnosed with early onset dementia, Sylvia found her confidence at a low and became too frightened to take part in her usual social activities. After a visit from a Staying Well worker it was clear that Sylvia’s fear of being in unfamiliar setting was a big barrier. Sylvia attended a group with the Staying Well worker supporting her and was delighted to find that she enjoyed it.
For more information, visit www.regen.org.uk
Focus4Hope is a community group based in Brighouse set up to make a difference in the local community. The members of Focus4Hope predominantly work with the local elderly and isolated/lonely individuals, local homeless and also those impacted by the refugee crisis. As well as outreach services for the homeless in Leeds, Focus4Hope regularly host events such as film nights for the isolated elderly of Calderdale and have been involved in the refugee crisis in Calais, travelling there recently to take supplies.
In April, the team, will be completing a charity skydive to raise money for a minibus. This bus will help them transport people more easily so that they can help the local community.
For more information, visit www.focus4hope.co.uk
Next month, our column will focus on friendship and the organisations helping people to build strong relationships with long lasting friends.
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