Truro’s community hubs project is extended for further 12 months

Truro City Council has announced details of its plans to continue the delivery of community hubs through the Sunshine Café model over the next 12 months.

As part of its commitment to creating a “Great Little City” for people to live, work and visit, the council’s community development service delivers a wide range of activities and support for local residents and communities.

Working with communities in Truro, the team helps local groups to organise community events and activities. These include litter picks and city clean ups, estate walkabouts, community gardening sessions, fitness classes, arts and craft sessions, support for carers and over 50’s groups and a youth project which delivers free professional football coaching in the housing estates to have impact on anti-social behaviour through spring and summer.

The service also runs the flagship Sunshine Café project which is delivered through the community hubs at Malabar Community Centre and the Moresk Centre. Open two days a week (on Wednesdays at Malabar and Fridays at Moresk), the cafes provide a safe, warm space where people can get together to socialise, enjoy freshly cooked local food and free drinks, and access information, advice and guidance to support and improve their lives.

First launched in October 2022 with funding from NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the aim of the original scheme was to support people through the cost-of-living crisis during the winter. The scheme was later extended to the end of March 2024 after research showed that those attending were not only benefiting from the activities at the hubs, but also that engaging with others was helping to tackle loneliness and reduce mental health issues.

The City Council has now confirmed that the project has been extended for a further 12 months until the end of March 2025. 

“We recognise the impact that the ongoing cost of living crisis and the challenges being faced by the NHS are having on many of our residents” said Community Development Officer Damien Richards.  “During the past 12 months there were 1,516 visits to the Malabar and Moresk community hubs”

“We want to ensure that we continue to provide support to residents who are struggling and extending this much needed project will help us to achieve this”.

As well as the Sunshine Café, the community hub at Malabar runs weekly food clubs, partnering up with New Beginning Community Association and CHAOS, free surplus goods from supermarkets are distributed along with freshly picked vegetables from Glean Cornwall. This helps to provide food for people who are struggling to make ends meet at the same time as reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.

The hubs also host visits from Community Health and Wellbeing Workers, who deliver arts and crafts activities, provides professionally instructed strength and coordination training to help to prevent people from having falls at home and cooking on a budget classes from Truro Nourish CIC.

The support provided by the community hubs has been praised by many of those attending the activities. 

Comments included “The Sunshine Café continues to help people in different ways and this is evident every time I visit. There is a welcoming community spirit/feeling which helps you to feel comfortable to engage with others;  “ the Hub provides a good service for lonely people, people who may need to find a new circle of friends. It provides warmth in the sense of companionship and has a heated room which is always warm. “  and “this group gets me out of the house and enable me to chat with people. I’ve made new friends and I smile lots.”

Truro City Council is very pleased that it has been able to extend the project for a further 12 months. “Our community development team is working very hard to support all our residents and the community hubs are one example of how we a working across the city to make a positive difference to people’s lives.”.

Further information about the community hubs and other community development projects is available from Damien Richards by emailing damien@truro.gov.uk

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