A  Creative Community Space for the centre of Chelmsford for individual residents or groups to meet.

‘Chelmsford Central’ is an un-parished area and as such does not have a dedicated parish-funded community space. This was identified by the community as a gap and the need is even more urgent with 2,000 more new homes built in the City centre in the last couple of years, and more to come.

The  creative space, located in Chelmsford Library,  is well used by a number of community and charitable initiatives, including: The Free Legal Service (clients directed to this service from CAB, Essex Mind, The Next Chapter (domestic abuse) and other organisations), Chelmsford Community Police, Papworth Trust, Realise Futures (Essex-supported employment services), Parental coffee morning (for parents with teens living with mental health), U3a discussion group, Clothes swapping, United In Kind’s community initiatives (trying out new ways to engage and unite the community), and various ‘idea testing’ initiatives by local residents, such as new art-based workshops (see initiatives supported and empowered by the Ideas Hub below). The list is growing all the time.

A Safe  Creative Space to support those living with mental heath issues  and a space where Mental Health issues can discussed without taboo. Creativity is the Ideas Hub tool to improve the well being of the residents.

The Ideas Hub is  a ‘Time to Change Champion’ and volunteers are trained in Mental Health First Aid. Source: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/

“Around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem this year yet the shame and silence can be as bad as the mental health problem itself”.

Our volunteers are trained to:

  • Be aware of Mental Health
  • Notice signs of distress
  • Listen and not judge
  • Treat everyone the same way
  • Ask twice

Anyone can drop in at any time the Ideas Hub is open (10am-3pm). It is a Safe Space to talk and share personal experiences if, for example, someone is experiencing a difficult moment whilst in town (such as anxiety, or a panic attack).

The ‘Parent Coffee Morning’ on Tuesdays (10am-12) supports parents whose teenagers are living with Mental health. It’s just a chat but it helps to share worries and hear the experience of others and to know you are not alone.

Anyone can join to become a Time to Change Champion: https://www.time-to-change.org.uk/get-involved or join the Ideas Hub Time to Change champion group to work if you feel more supported working as a group. Time to Change offers training to organise events and on “how to open discussions on Mental Health”.

Many initiatives supported as a small group around a table have outgrown the Ideas hub and are now independent charities and/ or have flown the nest to become well established:

  1. Chelmsford History City Walks: chilling tales and heritage walks run by a local historian who is also now organising Open heritage days
  2. Chelmsford Art Trail
  3. Chelmsford Arts and Cultural Festival including the River festival
  4. Ignite Chelmsford: Chelmsford City Council Cultural Partnership
  5. Chelmsford Collective Creatives: a network of over 300 artists which was started at the ideas Hub in 2016 with a group of 10 artists
  6. Artimate: a CIC providing Stop Motion Animation for young people
  7. Commissioning of Marconi Public Art
  8. Youth board games players group


Note: Chelmsford chosen as a finalist in the Academy of Urbanism Great Town Award 2018 as a successful Post-Industrial Town. This success was directly attributed to the exceptional and outstanding local community work with the Ideas Hub Chelmsford and Chelmsford Civic Society recognised as the main drivers of this work.