Community Hub secures vital funding for upgrades and expansion

Wick Community Hub

A COMMUNITY centre supporting young people in Wick has secured a £50,000 loan from responsible finance provider Social Investment Scotland (SIS) to revamp its facilities and increase its capacity.

Wick Community Hub has played a vital role for young people in the local community for many years, providing a safe environment for them to socialise and learn through a range of indoor and outdoor activities. The centre currently welcomes approximately 120 young people per week but aims to increase this as a result of the improvement works, which are due to complete this summer.

The £50,000 loan facility from SIS will enable the team to carry out cosmetic enhancements to the 80-year-old building as well as improving heating and insulation in parts of the facility which are currently unusable during the cold winter months.

The Lower Dunbar Street centre hosts daily after-school sessions and clubs during the school holidays and aims to expand its service offering with the appointment of a mental health and wellbeing counsellor in future.

As well as a social space for young people, the centre also provides group sessions for adults who feel socially isolated. They also provide hire space for weekly sessions encouraging community involvement in sports and leisure pastimes.

Cameron Reid, chair of the Wick Community Hub committee, said: “The centre has been at the heart of the local community since the 1970s, helping many people with social inclusion and wellbeing. We often have a waiting list, so it’s great to have funding that will enable us to welcome more people in, as well as giving the building a bit of a facelift.

“Because we are a charity, the building hasn’t had much of a revamp since it was built. Some rooms are completely unusable in the wintertime, but the support from Social Investment Scotland will allow us to improve the heating and insulation, meaning we have more space that can be used by different groups. As capacity increases, we are also hoping to grow the team and offer new resources such as one-to-one mental health support and other services.”

Chris Jamieson, head of investments at Social Investment Scotland, added: “Wick Community Hub has been making a positive impact for young people in the area for decades, but demand for its services outweighs current capacity. We’re pleased to be supporting with the capital needed to make necessary improvements to expand and help even more people. By providing access to affordable finance, SIS is championing local communities and enterprises of all sizes to deliver greater impact for people and planet.”

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