Chantell Calderbank, the new manager of The Hive Community Hub in Victoria Park, Swinton, is hoping to make a change for the better for the local community but there is a lot of work to be done to the building.
Chantell is focused on sustainability and affordability as the Community Hub is not a charity and therefore receives no funding.
The building includes a main room with a kitchen, an accessible toilet inside, an accessible toilet outside via radar key, a small storage cupboard, and a back office that is prone to flooding in heavy rainfall.
“The Hive needs a DIY S.O.S,” Chantell expressed, this includes a locksmith to secure the locks and a plumber to check the bathrooms and drains with any general help or assessment of the previous damage also being appreciated.
In her time there, Chantell has already had the walls stripped and re-plastered, provided CCTV for the building, filled the cupboards with cereals and dry food, collected tables and chairs and organised donations from Tescos, Morrisons, Adsa, Esso Garage and Emmaus.
Four years ago Chantell was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and due to all the medication and how the disease had affected memory, motor skills, and tremors she eventually left her company job of 20 years.
One thing that helped boost Chantell’s confidence and improve hand-eye coordination was ‘Rock Steady Boxing’, non-contact boxing designed to help those with illnesses that affect coordination and motor skills.
Chantell is now an advocate for both Young Parkinsons and Rock Steady Boxing.
Despite applying to be the manager at the community hub thinking it would allow her to work more on her own time, Chantell has ended up dedicating all her time to the hub with urgent appeals to the local community to help renovate the building.
One of the biggest successes so far is the free breakfast for children every morning, feeding almost 40 children a day.
“We have cereals with milk, fruit, toast, crumpets, cereal biscuits and bars and juice,” listed Chantell, all of the food coming from herself or donations.
There are currently seven volunteers at the hub to help out with each activity or event, with some who have joined to learn valuable life lessons or gain confidence.
Chantell is appealing to any locals that can help with the following:
A fridge/freezer as they are currently using a small beer fridge
Outdoor tables and chairs
Storage unit and storage bins
Any books, either for pleasure or educational purposes e.g information on jobs and life skills
Nonperishable food items such as carton milk and juice
Donations of clothes appropriate for interviews and someone who is able to provide haircuts for interviewees
Any students or locals to help with decoration and helping out with future creative events
Help with expenses of the volunteers such as bus fares and passes
And of course, more volunteers that can help out and in turn build their confidence, exchange skills whether than be in health and safety, catering, life skills or CVs.
Chantell is passionate about giving back to the community, and hopes that after the past eighteen months in lockdown, the hub can help encourage those back out of their homes again.
Through the Facebook page, Chantell has been praised for the work she is doing, with her main aim to make a hotspot where anyone in the community can feel included.
“We need to make things happen in order to make funds,” Chantell said, reflecting on the work still to be done.
The vision for The Hive is an industrial feel with a large focus on recycling and sustainability with minimal to zero waste in a bid to give back to the park and the local environment.
Some of current The Hive activities include:
Breakfast Club weekly
Meditation Group weekly
Litter picking for the Children
Forget me not Friendship Group
Salford Job Swap
Paws for Dementia, every two weeks
Chantell has big plans for the Community Hub if she is able to get the building to a safe and welcoming standard.
These plans include festive and seasonal events, activities linking with Victoria Park and bringing locals back into the green space and of course more for the children of Salford.
Going forward Chantell would like permission from the council to redecorate the outside and she hopes to organise a grant in the future with the help of community backing.
The Salford Hive Community Hub just giving page for maintaining repairs and installing heating can be accessed here.
Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and go towards a wonderful new spot in your community.