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News: Lochee Hub reflects on success – and seeks new partners

After three years in the heart of Lochee’s High Street, the Lochee Community Hub is reflecting on some solid achievements. 

Hub co-ordinator Pamela McLaughlin says, “The Hub is always busy. In one room we’ll have children having fun in the Stay & Play group. In the other we’ll have a jobshop, or a keep fit class, or the Credit Union. 

“We have people recovering from drug and alcohol addictions, others learning computers or playing scrabble. There’s a literacy group, and the police and a local councillor use the Hub for surgeries. It’s clear the Hub is well appreciated and well used. Now it’s time to take stock and work out what happens next.” 

Low incomes in the Lochee area have brought many people to the Hub for urgent help. Staff within the hub typically assist around 130 individuals every month from the community with crisis intervention. That includes benefit support, food parcels and assistance with gas and electricity bills. 

Scottish Government Minister Kevin Stewart visits the Lochee Hub in 2016

Kinship carers and parents find support there, and the Hub provides Family Fun sessions for schoolchildren in the holidays.  

DVA’s Chief Executive, Christine Lowden, says, “We’ve shown that the Hub is good for the mental and physical health of the Lochee community.  One of the things the Hub has done very effectively is bring people with addictions together with support services. Dundee’s Drugs Commission reports soon, and we think the Hub will have a vital role to play in implementing the Commission’s recommendations. 

In 2017 the Lochee Hub won the prestigious Bronze Award for Excellence in Local Matters at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. The citation read, “The Hub is the perfect example of addressing local priorities in a way that suits local circumstances, engages local people and achieves better outcomes locally. This achievement would not have been possible without the collaboration of over 25 voluntary and public sector organisations.” 

Also in 2017 Dundee City Council recognised the Hub’s potential with an “Outstanding Commitment and Service Award … One To Watch”. 

European Union support for the project has now come to an end, and staff at the Hub’s parent organisation, Dundee Voluntary Action, are looking for partners to take the Hub into the future.  

Christine Lowden says, “The Hub works across many agendas … employability, children and families, health and care, wellbeing, young people’s services, mental health … and so we are looking for many partners to keep the good work going. We believe the Hub has proved its worth to the community, and we’re confident that will be recognised locally and nationally. It’s doing ground breaking work.” 

Created at a cost of £280,000 three years ago, the Hub has three staff and costs approximately £160,000 a year to run. Funding and in-kind support has so far has come from the Dundee Alcohol & Drugs Partnership, Dundee City Council, and the European Union via the Scottish Government’s Aspiring Communities Fund.