The Laindon Centre

Posted: 5th Oct 2017

Three old shops in an Essex shopping centre have been given new life! Read all about it below...

In May 2017, Centric Community Projects began managing three empty shops in the Laindon Shopping Centre in Basildon, Essex.

Soon afterwards, the search began for deserving charities and non-profit groups to use the spaces. On the 11th of May, Lauren, Centric’s Charity Coordinator, twelve organisations and Michelle Fairchild, Community Development Officer at Basildon Council viewed the three empty shops.

Among the twelve organisations who viewed were Motivated Minds, Parents 4 Parents, Community Rainbow Genies and The Listening Post, who went on to move into two of the shops.

The Happy Hub’ was quickly established by Motivated Minds, Parents 4 Parents and Community Rainbow Genies. Great things are being done there to benefit the local community. Each of the three organisations resident at the Happy Hub are working hard to support local people; Parents 4 Parents highlight the importance of education and support parents who are in need, Motivated Minds host activities to support and encourage the improvement of mental and physical wellbeing and Community Rainbow Genies work to build community cohesion and also improve the wellbeing of local people.

The Happy Hub hosts many events, including ‘Walk 4 Wellbeing’, a Games Club for young people with social barriers and ‘Knit and Natter’ as well as ‘Tea and Talk’. The Happy Hub is recognised locally as a somewhere for people to come and feel understood and listened to, and we are proud to have provided the space to make all this possible.

The second shop is currently occupied by The Listening Post, an organisation which seeks to improve the accessibility of mental healthcare by offering one-to-one counselling, group therapy and workshops to those who wouldn’t be able to afford it otherwise. They have recently partnered with Wickes to build a partition wall in the shop, so that it can easily be shared with Girls Empowerment Initiative, who do incredible work to empower and girls and women via education, peer mentoring and counselling.

The final shop was occupied by Solidarity Care International and CASS (The Community Advice and Support Scheme). CASS provide practical assistance for disabled people, the elderly and those with long term illness, which includes help in the house, gardening, handy work; painting and decorating, minor repairs of electrical items and plumbing. They are using the 1st floor of their shop to provide information on disability issues as well as giving advice and support on welfare rights.

They are sharing with Solidarity Care, who are using the floor below CASS to store items used for educational or medicinal purposes which are no longer being used in British schools or hospitals due to their condition. These items are shipped abroad to places where they are used and valued, rather than being discarded.

We are very pleased with all the amazing work which is being done by these wonderful organisations and are proud to have provided the space to make this possible.

Thanks to all our tenants at the Laindon Centre and also to Swan Housing, who we have worked with to deliver the space in Basildon.

Thank you Centric, landlords, and everyone who’s played a part in establishing this fantastic community resource in Brighton. You’ve made a crucial difference to the development of our charity and the health and well-being of a large number of people in need

Gary Pargeter
Project Manager Lunch Positive