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Boost to community hub at local primary school

A community hub offering a warm and welcoming space for families and children at a Staffordshire primary school, has been boosted by a donation from the Homes Plus My Community Fund.

Homes Plus awarded funding to the Community Hub at Castlechurch Primary School, in Stafford, where volunteers run free toddler groups, craft clubs and cuppa clubs.

The Castlechurch Community Hub is the brainchild of teacher Mrs Cranwell who, despite teaching for 28 years, says she has never seen times so hard.

Mrs Cranwell came up with the genius idea of turning an empty classroom into a free facility for the community. The full-time teacher spent her spare time fundraising through cake sales and raffles and thanks to her hard work, the hub was able to open in March.

Mrs Cranwell said: “I’m so passionate about this. I’ve been teaching now for 28 years, I love the job, but there’s always something to give back. In my whole teaching career, times have never been as tough as they are now.

“The need for a community hub like this at the moment is massive and it’s being used every day. 400 people have already walked through the door since we opened and if we’ve made a little difference to their lives, then my job is done.

“I do this on top of my teaching because I just feel so passionately about it. There’s so much more we can do here to help make a difference to an awful lot of people.

“It’s been a huge success and it can only continue to grow.”

As well as hosting community groups and clubs, a Health Visitor also runs a drop-in baby clinic at the new hub on Friday afternoons. Mums can take their babies to be weighed and if they’re struggling, the hub even has a baby bank offering free clothes and nappies.

Now, with the funding from the Homes Plus My Community Fund, Mrs Cranwell plans to purchase a fridge-freezer to store the food donations they hand out to struggling families and a printer for the hub’s free internet cafe.

The Homes Plus My Community Fund is delivered in partnership with Jewson.

Samantha Allcott, Director of Housing, explained why Homes Plus chose to support the Castlechurch Community Hub. She said: “This fantastic facility is in the heart of one of our local communities and is helping to support those on lower incomes and vulnerable and isolated people.

“The cost-of-living crisis is continuing and facilities like this one, are needed now more than ever.

“We’re very pleased to be able to support this hub, which will directly benefit many of our customers in the community.”

Learn more about the Homes Plus My Community Fund and apply for grants online at www.homesplus.co.uk/help-and-advice/the-my-community-fund/