Horndean community centre keeping people connected through lockdown by moving its services online

A BUSTLING community centre has come up with creative ways to keep the public talking and having fun through lockdown.

Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd April 2020, 1:05 pm

While it is closed to the public, Merchistoun Hall in Horndean has a variety of regular and seasonal activities appearing online thanks to hardworking members of Horndean Community Association.

With the only physical service open being the nursery for key workers’ children, activities and services are updated on the website and social media often, including word searches and games, virtual race afternoons and an information page to advise Horndean residents about latest coronavirus guidance.

Brendan Charles, association manager, said: ‘When we realised we were going to be affected, we sat here and thought in the true spirit of a community association we should still be able to do some of the things we were doing but not in a physical sense.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Merchistoun Hall in Horndean has a variety of regular and seasonal activities appearing online thanks to hardworking members of Horndean Community Association

‘Just because we can’t open the centre, there’s nothing to stop up providing our services.’

Read More

Read More
Short film created on Hayling Island encourages senior citizens to stay at home ...

For those who cannot access the internet, Brendan is able to post activity sheets out regularly, and has been making more than 80 phone calls a week to all the members to catch up with how they’re doing.

‘When I look at the numbers of people engaging with the posts we put up it’s obviously having an effect,’ said Brendan.

‘It’s doing brilliantly, it’s heartening. It’s really lovely to know that we’re at the point we are and we can still have an effect on people.

‘The last thing we would want to do is shut up shop. We’re in a crisis and we’re here to help you.’

Brendan has worked for the association on and off for 30 years, so he is very passionate about helping the community stay in touch.

He said: ‘I started as a volunteer and absolutely fell in love with the place. I have been so lucky to work for an organisation where I have worked with so many fantastic people.

‘The fact that you’re appreciated for what you do goes a long way as well. It’s been a very quick 30 years.’

For more information about the activities and services, phone the centre on (023) 9259 7114 or visit merchistounhall.btck.co.uk.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on portsmouth.co.uk. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to portsmouth.co.uk and enjoy unlimited access to local news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit our Subscription page now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.