Plans in place to open community hubs for current and former armed forces across Northamptonshire

The hubs would offer veterans, serving personnel and family members a place to go for support and a 'chat'

Thursday, 5th November 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 5th November 2020, 10:39 am
Armed forces community hubs could open in various locations around Northamptonshire.

A number of community hubs for current and former Northamptonshire armed forces personnel could be opened in various locations across the county.

The hubs would aim to provide a ‘warm and welcoming place where any member of the armed forces community could go for advice, help and comradeship’, including family members, reservists, veterans and those currently serving.

Run by Northamptonshire County Council, the hubs would be free to access and would provide refreshments and activities such as walking groups and adult learning.

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In other areas around the country, similar hub ideas have proven popular, however as the local hubs are being discussed during the pandemic, digital community spaces are also being considered.

Councillor Wendy Brackenbury, Northamptonshire County Council’s armed forces champion, said: “Hubs operate in a number of areas already and, given their success and popularity, we wanted to develop them in Northamptonshire as well.

“Due to the central government restrictions around Covid-19 however, we won’t be able to offer the physical community hubs for a while.

“Instead, we want to develop live interactive digital hubs that would offer members of the armed forces community the next best thing.”

To help understand what the local armed forces community needs, the county council is running an online survey so personnel can express their views.

Cllr Brackenbury added: “We intend to offer support and training in order for people to develop their digital skills and thus be able to access the virtual community hubs.

“It isn’t yet certain how many virtual hubs will be opened, as this is dependent on the results of the survey. However, we would like to ensure that we cover the whole of the county.

“It is our aim to recruit an armed forces community hubs facilitator whose role will be to develop, co-ordinate and facilitate the community and virtual hubs.”

To take part in the survey before the deadline of November 20, visit the county council’s website.

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