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.
The 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?’
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.