Bedlington support facility to close this month
A community facility which has hosted thousands of people is to close at the end of the month.
Bedlington’s Community Help Hub, set up by Hope Church Bedlington and staffed by church volunteers, has helped at more than 23,000 drop-in visits since it opened in March 2010.
The volunteers have helped people create CVs, apply for jobs, make applications for benefits and complete other benefit applications, and have assisted with enquiries, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals.
It will now close on May 30 after changes in volunteer availability and other similar services now available in the area.
Church spokesperson Dennis Fancett said: “Our volunteers have found it a privilege to watch our clients develop their confidence in using a computer during the course, progressing from being unable or too scared to try even the simplest of online tasks to now being able to confidently carry out job searches and make applications with very little assistance.
“We are delighted to have received so many positive comments, which have helped us understand how much our service has been appreciated by our local community.
“At Hope Church Bedlington, we feel privileged to have served our local community through the Community Help Hub. Our commitment to serving and being involved with our community remains strong and we will be reviewing whether there are other alternative community services we can successfully provide.”
He added: “I would also like to thank those who have partnered with us or provided assistance or other support during our nine years of operation.”
Members of Hope Church have contributed more than £77,000 towards the cost of running the Community Help Hub over the last nine years, with a further £35,000 being provided by external funders.
The church continues to hold its Sunday services at East Bedlington Community Centre, Bedlington Station, at 10.30am each week, and welcomes any visitors.