Monkey Park community hub provides a place for local people in Brampton, Chesterfield to come together and improve their area, with lots of free or affordable activities and events. It does this in its multi-functional building, which houses a café, bakery, co-working space, activity space and bike workshop.
The café is a popular neighbourhood spot, with the hub focusing on creating a welcome atmosphere and providing space that enables local people to initiate their own groups and activities. This includes physical and art activities to suit all ages, such as the crochet club, yoga, kids’ clubs and an area dedicated to the sale of local craft items.
The bike workshop enables local volunteers to share and gain skills, taking in donated bikes that would otherwise have contributed to landfill, fixing them up and selling the bikes on at an affordable price to those in the community. Volunteers include retirees, students, and those looking to learn employment skills, such as Steve who neatly summarised, “I like coming here, fixing bikes and meeting friends”.
A supportive working community is fostered in the co-working space, as Emily, a volunteer and entrepreneur who uses the space explains: “Even though they’re from different backgrounds and sectors, people can often bounce ideas off each other and get help and inspiration. It’s very interactive and that’s a real bonus for somebody starting out in business, because there is that opportunity to meet so many other people who are on the same wavelength”.
Taking on an unused, derelict building in the heart of their community, the non-profit rebuilt it under a three-year commercial lease, with the future intention of leaving the building in trust for the community. S&CC enabled this to happen by filling the gap in the funding needed to purchase the building and leave it in trust, with Director, Simon Redding remarking “(S&CC) have been very supportive throughout the entire process”. Owning the building has made it possible for the volunteer-led hub to develop a sustainable business model, hiring seven part-time staff to move the business forward.