The Hub – a new café, food larder, training centre and meeting place –is set to become the heart of the St Annes community after being formally opened by the Church Road Methodist Church.
Mayor of Fylde Coun Angela Jacques, and Mayoress Charlotte Jacques, invited guests and members of the congregation all joined Rev Stephen Heath for a service of dedication and thanks before the official ribbon cutting at the new entrance.
Rev Stephen Heath, minister at the Church Road Methodist Church, said: “The opening of The Community Hub is the realisation of a long held vision to provide a safe place where people can meet, make new friends, enjoy a healthy meal, and leave feeling happier.
“Our aim is to welcome anyone as a visitor or as a helper, from those who need a helping hand, to those who are retired or have time on their hands and want to give something back by volunteering.”
Among the guests were the Rev Paul Davis, chairman of the Lancashire District of The Methodist Church, representatives from other local churches and the South Fylde Methodist Circuit, along with some of the businesses which contributed towards the fundraising and construction of the new facility at the church.
They included David Whittle, chairman of Tyson Construction which built The Hub; quantity surveyor David Harrison of Heron Construction Consultants, who project managed the build; and Zoe Fleming from Vincents Solicitors which helped with the sale of a parcel of land at the church to help fund the build, and supported fundraising.
Rev Heath added: “We are so eternally grateful for the support the project has received.”
Alongside regular church activities, The Hub houses Wesley’s Café and Wesley’s Larder, two initiatives open on Tuesdays and Thursdays designed to provide food for people in need.
Café customers can get an inexpensive meal or their food for free if under 18 or in need, while Wesley’s Larder operates as an informal foodbank.
The Café is run by volunteers including professional chef Paul Caddy and his wife Annie who are teaching their helpers to cook and manage a professional kitchen.
Wesley’s Larder is also run by volunteers who redistribute food through a partnership with Fairshare and Tesco Local stores.
The Hub also has meeting rooms and community space where local groups can meet.
Blackpool charity UR Potential is offering a drop-in IT course helping people with basic skills such as online applications, banking, shopping, how to use social media, save photographs, open and use various documents. It also hosts a range of family, baby and craft sessions.”
Zoe Fleming, from Vincents Lytham office, added: “The Hub is open to everybody, of all faiths or none, and is a truly incredible community resource provided by the church.”