A Creative Community Space for the centre of Chelmsford for individual residents or groups to meet and/ or to get a range of supports, helping also to tackle loneliness.
‘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 in 2011. The need is even more urgent with thousands more new homes built in the City centre in the last couple of years, and more to come.
The Ideas Hub Chelmsford, located in Chelmsford Library, is palliating for this need (despite limited space), which affects over 50,000 residents by offering:
– A welcoming/ befriending Art cafe, perfect as a friendly community space. A wonderful place where anyone can enjoy a lovely drink in a friendly, arty space and/ or meet with friends or pop in for finding information about “what’s in Chelmsford” (tourism information, support services, meeting groups, venues to hire and much more) and/or just have a casual chat with one of our wonderful volunteers and/or share and discuss your ideas (including wants and needs) for a better Chelmsford . Many of the initiatives running in Chelmsford such as the City History Walks or Chelmsford Arts and Cultural Festival were born at the ideas Hub who has also fostered life long friendships making the Ideas Hub Art cafe the best place in the City to connect and to be!
– Inclusive creative workshops to support Chelmsford residents’ wellness. Creativity is the Ideas Hub’s tool to improve the wellbeing of the residents. Anyone can take part regardless of physical or / and mental health challenges or none, age and/ or culture and background. A small donation is welcome.
– Free professional Legal Service to support Chelmsford residents to solve issues which can create terrible worries. The Ideas hub is very lucky to be sponsored by the law firm Affordable Law For You: http://affordablelawforyou.co.uk/ . You can book a free session (limited at 3 free sessions per case) with Deborah Aloba and Euzi Tofpik on Monday mornings from 10am to 1pm ( via zoom until September 2020).
– Mental Health Safe space where mental health is not a taboo subject, to support Chelmsford residents’ wellness.The Ideas Hub is proud to be a safe space to support those with mental health challenges and is a ‘Time to Change Champion’ with volunteers trained as Mental Health First Aiders. 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:
- Chelmsford History City Walks: chilling tales and heritage walks run by a local historian who is also now organising Open heritage days
- Chelmsford Art Trail
- Chelmsford Arts and Cultural Festival including the River festival
- Ignite Chelmsford: Chelmsford City Council Cultural Partnership
- Chelmsford Collective Creatives: a network of around 1000 artists which was started at the ideas Hub in 2016 with a group of 10 artists
- Artimate: a CIC providing Stop Motion Animation for young people
- Commissioning of Marconi Public Art
- 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.