Council News

Red Cross Hut – to be a community building?

HEDON Town Council is expected to take on the Red Cross Hut as a ‘community building’ when the current lease with the British Red Cross expires in April 2016.

Red Cross BuildingThe future of the building on Sheriff Highway (next door to the Scout Hut) was the subject of a discussion at last night’s Property Committee of Hedon Town Council. One of the preferred options, after consideration of the benefits and liabilities of the council taking on the lease of the building, is to see a Management Committee formed that could take responsibility for ensuring that the hut is looked after and serves a useful community purpose.

One of the most obvious uses for the building could be as a venue for events, meetings, and functions. The role of any management group would be to ensure that space within the building was booked out on a regular basis, thereby covering the costs of its upkeep. But perhaps a more useful starting point in determining the future of the building, is to consider the question ‘How might the building best serve the needs of the local community?’

Hedon Youth Group at Carnival - tangible community benefit via the Red Cross Hut

Hedon Youth Group at Carnival – a tangible community benefit brought about via the Red Cross Hut

The hut currently serves as home to the Hedon Youth Group on Friday evenings. Without a doubt, the youth group serves a very useful purpose within the wider community. It uses its base at the hut to organise activities that benefit both the young people and supporting volunteers involved. The group regularly gets involved in activities in the local community too, for example, the group helped out with preparing for HedFest15 and provided a contingent at the festival carnival. With regard to youth activities, the Red Cross Hut contributes towards meeting the needs of our local community.  

This is the approach we need when considering the use of the building – how can it be used to meet the needs of local communities. And what are the needs of local communities in Hedon? I have ideas, but I certainly don’t know. So, perhaps the starting point is to organise a more thorough consultation on local needs, identify gaps in provision, and in the strategy to plug those gaps decide how the former Red Cross Hut ought to be utilised.  

The British Red Cross have determined that the building is ‘surplus to their requirements’. This does potentially provide an opportunity to use it for community benefit in Hedon, but I feel that ‘meeting the needs’ of a community is very different from simply owning a building that just becomes a space to be rented out.

So what ideas do readers have? How might the hut be used to develop our communities? What facilities or services are needed in Hedon?

A personal view from Hedon Blog Editor, Ray Duffill.

6 replies »

  1. Parking will need to be at the forefront of any plans. Cars parked on the roadside obstruct the view into Sheriff Highway when exiting Woodmarketgate.

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  2. Why do Hedon Town Council need to be considering leasing the Red Cross Hut for use as a community venue, when we have a perfectly good community centre next to the council offices.
    This was funded by and built for the people of Hedon and is run by a committee on a non-profit basis which is reflected in the charges as shown in their website.
    As you would expect the building is in accordance to all relevant safety standards and fully insured with no cost to the council tax payers of Hedon.
    I agree with you that it needs to be looked at very carefully as to what it can be used for, not just a knee jerk reaction that the council could acquire it and then decide what uses it could be put to. On top of this what extra costs would be incurred to ensure the building is fit for purpose and bringing it up to current safety requirements as well as insurance costs.

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  3. Hedon already has a Community Centre, The Alexandra Hall, which was built by the people of Hedon for the people of Hedon.
    The Alexandra Hall is currently hired on a regular basis for a wide variety of activities and is available for functions, meetings, events etc. What happens to the Alexandra Hall in the event of the Town Council proposing the same for the Red Cross Hut? Do they undercut to get bookings?
    The Alexandra Hall is run by a voluntary committee and it is hard to get people to take on such an undertaking “for nothing” as it takes up a lot of time and effort in an already busy life.
    I like Carrie’s idea of having it as a dedicated arts venue but I think that a lot of thought needs to be put into what it is used for and will it be viable and become self sufficient so that the people of Hedon aren’t paying for a hut that seemed like a good idea at the time.

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  4. How about a dedicated arts venue of some kind? Craft/ art workshops could be held there – and give local people a cance to work and display their talents to the community at large. Also I have often thought that having a centre where people had access to things like sewing machines, jewellery making equipment etc would be a great thing to encourage people to discover their creative side!

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