Last Updated on 30 May 2022 by Ann-Marie Nye
A Harwich-based Church Related Community Work project is set to receive £100,000 in increased funding.
The Lounge in Esplanade Hall, which provides a shared space for local people who are particularly isolated or vulnerable is led by Mark Tubby, Project Community Worker for Dovercourt Central Church, who works alongside the Salvation Army and Church of England in Harwich to deliver the joint venture.
The increased funding comes from Essex County Council’s levelling up fund, which seeks to address inequalities in the borough and level up life chances for residents.
Mark said: “This is great news for the Harwich and Dovercourt area, this additional funding will help us facilitate the development of the wellbeing space and incorporate more groups and services to ensure the local community will have the opportunities and support they deserve.
“We know many are suffering at this difficult time but what is wonderful to see is the way our holistic approach to building community is giving people the chance to give back. This money will provide much more opportunity for this and mean the local community is enhanced. We are looking to compliment what is already going on in the town and not replace it. It’s very much about partnership for us and I am excited for the future.”
The new funding was announced on 20 May at Essex County Council’s Levelling Up Harwich launch event at Harwich International Port.
The new funding will secure the rental space for three years, allow for improvements to enhance access and use of the space and increase opening hours from just four hours, one day a week, to daily opening Monday to Friday.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, Deputy Leader of Essex County Council and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnership and Performance, said: “Building strong communities and encouraging pride of place are central to achieving our aims for levelling up the county. The community hub meets so many of our target objectives, working hard to improve the health and wellbeing of the local community, with physical activities available alongside mental health support.
“This new funding will help secure and improve that support even further so it can continue to attract more local families to the hub, from parents with babies to residents in their 90s.”