This is an ambitious project which builds on from the positive partnership developed between Wokingham Borough Council and the voluntary, charity and community sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the past year, it has become clear residents have really benefitted from the coordinated way the council and the voluntary, charity and community sector have worked together to ensure people get the help and support they need. The hub will bring a number of voluntary, charity and community organisations under one roof. The first hub will be based at Waterford House in Wokingham, and it will provide high quality information, advice and support to enable people to access the right services to meet their individual needs and circumstances at the right time.
This is the first hub of its kind in Wokingham, and there are aspirations to roll out further hubs elsewhere in the borough during the coming years, as identified in Wokingham Borough Council’s voluntary and community sector strategy agreed in 2020.
Wokingham Borough Council has submitted a planning application to refurbish Waterford House, ready for the Charity and Community Hub to open its doors later this year. Waterford House would be redecorated, and office space reconfigured to make it more appropriate for the voluntary, charity and community organisations moving into the building. Proposals also includes an application for a change of use – details can be found on the council’s website at www.wokingham.gov.uk and search ‘planning applications’ (planning application number: 210797). Subject to planning permission, refurbishment work would start in the summer.
Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, said: “The Wokingham Charity and Community Hub is the first of its kind in the borough and I am delighted we are making progress and turning our ambitions into reality. “Planning for this hub has got off the ground thanks to the partnership approach between the borough council and the voluntary, charity and community organisations. The first hub’s location is at the heart of the town centre. It will allow the voluntary, charity and community sector to work closely together, sharing resources where possible and delivering services as close as possible to people in their own communities, which is great news for our residents.”