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    West Kent’s own brand of community support is now available from a newly-refurbished ‘hub’ in Sittingbourne.

    We’ve won the contract to look after three community hubs, one at The Vineries in Gillingham, one in Warrior Avenue, Gravesend and the newest of the three in Cavell Way, Sittingbourne.

    The hubs, provided by Moat and funded by Moat Foundation, offer advice, social activities, somewhere to meet and perhaps even the pathway to a career.

    Existing and potential users of the newest hub joined Moat’s Executive Director of Housing & Customer Services Anne-Britt Karunaratne (universally known as ABK) at the opening of the comfortable and airy new community base.

    Our own Community Hubs Manager Audrey Williams was also there, and explained that the building would be open five days a week, with the support of volunteers, and would offer a wide range of services that would reflect local needs.

    It will provide information, advice and guidance on everything from debt management to health issues, as well as supporting job seekers and potential entrepreneurs and offering a social space for both children and older people.

    It will do all that with the support of partners, many of whom were at the launch. They included Pat Shelley, Chief Executive of the London Youth Support Trust, which helps 18 to 30 year-olds set up in business and is keen to provide that kind of support in Kent.

    Also at the launch was Caroline Gaskin, Fundraising Officer with bereavement charity Holding On, Letting Go, one of the many organisations that could soon be using the Sittingbourne Hub as a way of reaching out to people who need support.

    Facilities include an IT suite/training room, a one-to-one counselling room and a children’s chill out area as well as a fully-fitted kitchen and a comfortable meeting space on the ground floor.

    Our Communities Director Will Campbell-Wroe (pictured above right with ABK) said the hub would support our overall aim of making sure as many people as possible have “somewhere to live, someone to love and something constructive to do”.

    He said: “West Kent is about far more than just homes. We are keen to build communities and we are delighted to be working with Moat to make sure their hubs fulfil that role. This building will provide a focal point for the neighbourhood and one of the team’s first jobs will be to talk to local people about what they want it to deliver for their community.”

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