March 7th, 2023.

A cabinet councillor from Lewes District Council visited Havens Community Hub after the community interest company landed a £200,000 award from the UK shared prosperity fund. Councillor Chris Collier met with Paula Woolven, the driving force behind the Haven Community Hub, to discuss how the money will benefit residents in local communities.

Haven Community Hub is well known in the district's coastal communities for the range of support it already provides from its base in Denton through Havens Community Cars, Havens Food Cooperative and Havens Happy Club.

Havens Community Cars is a charity that supports over 500 residents with 25 volunteer drivers, Havens Food Cooperative is a food waste prevention project that saves and redistributes over a ton of food from supermarkets every week and Havens Happy Clubs provides dementia-friendly stimulating activities for older people.

The £200,000 windfall will allow Paula and her team to expand the organisation into Peacehaven, creating a central point to increase volunteering opportunities at local groups, causes and charities, provide a physical presence for the not-for-profit business support organisations, support local charities with practical hands-on advice, administration and peer-to-peer networking, and improve access to advice and support services which benefit residents' health, finances and well-being.

Councillor Collier said: "At times like these, the Haven Community Hub has never been more important and relevant to the lives of so many residents.

"The community work being undertaken is inspirational and I couldn't be happier that we have helped extend the reach and accessibility of the hub into Peacehaven.

"With families dealing with the cost-of-living crisis and facing huge uncertainties over the coming months, the Haven Community Hub is a lifeline that many people already rely on, and inevitably, many more will rely on it in the future."

Other organisations and projects that Lewes District Council has helped secure funding include, Changing Spaces, 'Landport and Beyond', Sussex Community Development Agency, 'Find your future – work, learning, volunteering', Latest Group CIC, 'ReNewhaven', Clean Growth UK, 'Net Zero 360 for SMEs' and Seaford Community Partnership, 'Cliff Gardens Project'.

Paula Woolven said: "I'm delighted that Lewes District Council has recognised the ongoing positive impact of our project development work over the difficult pandemic period and helped facilitate our further growth in Peacehaven, increasing opportunities for local residents, charities and businesses."


Pictured: Cllr Chris Collier and Paula Woolven at the Havens Community Hub.
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