A CHARITY has set up a base in the middle of Leigh Park which it hopes will benefit the whole community.
The Hub, in Park Parade, houses several charities as well as a cafe.
It is owned by Park Families, a charity which supports families across Leigh Park, providing nursery help, training, emergency respite and drop-in services.
Chief executive Sarah Lamburne was told of the empty building and thought it would be a fantastic place to bring the charities together in the centre of the town.
The charity now works with many organisations to improve the lives of families across the estate.
She said: ‘It had been sitting empty in the heart of Leigh Park for a couple of years.
‘We moved in in February and we let the offices out on a cost basis to the charities for the community’s benefit.
‘To make this building work we have a wonderful cafe with the most amazing food at affordable prices.
‘Everything is prepared fresh on the day and, as much as possible, it is locally sourced.
‘We need to make a success of the cafe to make this work for us.’
The Hub is home to the Wheatsheaf Trust, Motiv8, Quit4Life and a drop-in baby clinic on Tuesday afternoons.
Lee Wheeler, from the Wheatsheaf Trust, which helps long-term unemployed people back into work, said: ‘We work very closely with Park Families so it is ideal for us to be here in the centre of Leigh Park.
‘Katherine Slavin, who is now the receptionist at The Hub, is in fact one of our success stories.’
The chef manager of The Hub cafe is Claire Callanan who came from The Spring arts and heritage centre, in Havant.
She works alongside two apprentices funded by Highbury College.
She said: ‘Our customers love what we do and we’d obviously like more of them through the door.
‘We are looking at having music nights with performers, great food and good wine. We even have our own blend of The Hub coffee.’
The cafe is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
· Park Families’ fundraising day is on Saturday from 11am to 2pm at Sandleford Road, Warren Park.