A NEW health and wellbeing family hub is set to open in Swanage after getting the go-ahead from council chiefs.
Plans for the opening of a Health and Wellbeing Family Hub at Chapel Lane have been approved by Dorset Council’s Cabinet.
The hub is set to be part of a network of Family Hubs offering one-stop services for families, two of which have already been launched in other parts of the county.
It will be operated and delivered by the Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust and supported by Swanage Town Council in partnership with Dorset Council.
The council says it will enable children’s and adults’ services to be ‘delivered differently and will enable wider usage of the under occupied Chapel Lane site for community benefit’.
It will see a community asset transfer of buildings on the Chapel Lane site from Dorset Council to the Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust.
Cllr Andrew Parry, portfolio holder for children, education, skills and early help, welcomed the decision, saying Dorset was at the forefront of delivering family hubs.
“This proposal supports the strategic objectives of the council to create strong, healthy communities,” he said.
“We recognise the devolution of assets to local communities, particularly to town and parish councils and voluntary and community-based organisations, can make a significant contribution to enabling them to be stronger, more resilient and to support services within their local areas.”
Cllr Peter Wharf, the cabinet lead for adults’ services, added: “This proposal will enable the development of a joined up inter-generational approach to service delivery in Swanage through the creation of a Family Hub that better meets the needs of the local community and supports the delivery of children’s and adults’ services commissioning strategies.”
Bob Foster, chair of Swanage & Purbeck Development Trust, said it will provide a place for people to gather.
“We’ve never had anything quite like this in Swanage before and the hub will be a great place for people of all ages to gather and meet socially, as well as to access essential services,” he said.
“There will be a community cafe which will be open every day and having a reception desk means that visitors can get help to find what they need both in person and by phone. In many cases the help they get will be provided at the hub itself or very locally.”
And Cllr Mike Bonfield, chair of Swanage Town Council’s community services committee, said a range of groups and services would be represented at the venue.
“As well as things like maternity services, debt advice or support with mental health, we hope that community groups such as Dementia Friendly, Link Visiting (befriending people in isolation), Swanage Stroke Club, and MS Purbeck will provide services from the hub,” he said.