New centres to support community

By Ian Dipple Monday 03 February 2014 Updated: 05/02 08:59

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Buy photos » Dr Richard Davies, Nitin Sodha, owner of Knights Pharmacy, Chris Thomas, neighbourhood development co-ordinator, Liz Williams, neighbourhood development manager and council leader Bill Hartnett open Winyates Well Being Hub. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0614004MMR

A PIONEERING way of providing support to the community has been officially launched in Winyates.

The Space and Winyates Well Being Hub were opened in the district's centre on Saturday (February 1) and will provide a range of support to meet the varying needs of residents in Winyates, Church Hill and Matchborough.

Devised by Redditch Partnership's neighbourhood development project, The Space has been created out of a shop unit which has been empty for over 20 years. It will provide a meeting place for various community organisations such as Redditch Mental Health Support Group, as well as activities including

Tai Chi and cookery courses.

The centre will operate in tandem with Winyates Well Being Hub, part of a joint venture with Knights Pharmacy. As well as selling low cost goods, Redditch Citizens Advice Bureau will be running a weekly outreach service, there will be health MOTs and healthy eating advice on offer, Age UK will be providing information and support, while help on financial matters will be available from the Two Pennies Money Advice charity.

The two centres aim to ensure the whole needs of residents are being met rather than just focus on individual problems.

Liz Williams, project manager and the driving force behind the two centres, said: "Winyates was very limited for meeting space and there was a lot we wanted to do but we were having to beg steal and borrow somewhere to do it.

"Having The Space will transform what we are able to do. We're all about working with people, we don't do things to people, we don't push them beyond their pace, we grow people."

Dr Richard Davies, assistant clinical chair for Redditch and Bromsgrove CCG and who opened the well being hub, added: "GPs see patients holistically, they don't just focus on medical problems, social problems have an enormous impact on people's health.

"Providing a service for support in the community such as this is amazing because it will show people what's available. The outcomes should be greater because it's all in one place."

Bill Hartnett, borough council leader and chairman of Redditch Partnership and who opened The Space, said: "In the old days we had community centres but this is a bit more than a community centre. It's a gold mine of ideas, it really is innovative."

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Buy photos» Liz Williams, neighbourhood development manager, council leader Bill Hartnett and Chris Thomas, neighbourhood development co-ordinator, open The Space. Picture by Marcus Mingins 0614005MMR.

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