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INSPIRED Blog Series: Elmbridge Eco Hub with Melissa Lacide

Posted on 4 March 2021

Written by:

Melissa Lacide

Our new blog series is a space to celebrate what you see as the ideas, processes and projects that are pushing boundaries to empower people and communities to shape their places.

We are particularly interested in celebrating “inspired” approaches, whether complex or very simple, to enabling civic leadership and cross-sector collaboration in shaping buildings, open spaces, homes or neighbourhoods. Melissa Lacide has written a piece on a project that has inspired her.

Elmbridge Community Eco Hub is a volunteer-led Community Interest Company, which was in the process of growing and gaining momentum before the nation went into lockdown in March 2020. The vision behind the CIC is to have space where local people can come together and access a range of assets – to not just better shape where they live and work but to also better shape the world we live in.

Based in Surrey, where pockets of deprivation continue to exist, the initiatives are aimed at addressing many of the economic, social and environmental challenges that individuals and our communities face. The hub’s slogan of “let’s build something together” is the focus, wherein practice a range of initiatives will be ‘under one roof’. The sustainability agenda includes:

The hard work, visibility and the positive relationships being built by the volunteers to create this community asset puts them in a fantastic position to be inclusive to all and continue supporting local residents to access resources, now and in the future.

If there’s one thing the pandemic, lockdown and social distancing has taught us is that connection with our possessions, places, communities and other people are more valued than ever. Despite this, the reality of inequality still exists with stigma and barriers being highlighted all the more because of CV-19. We need more hubs like this one to support each other going forward and help us to better understand our places and needs in communities.

It’ll be great to see this CIC push boundaries further. We all have the power to change the way we build our communities and create social value to improve the wellbeing of people and places.

Find out more about the hub via Follow Elmbridge Eco Hub on Twitter and Facebook.