A new online platform has been launched to bring the community together. Residents can now access simple Council services, community support groups and local charities through the Havering Community Hub, which has been developed by a group of local residents, charity organisations and Council staff.
The one-stop shop offers a wide range of tools for residents to get Council and community help in a way that overcomes the barriers to access support services created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Havering Community Hub site offers lots of interactive features where communities can connect in a number of different ways, including an online community café, live-streamed events and online notice boards.
It contains important information on how to access frontline Council services such as parking permits, Council tax enquiries, housing and financial advice. Residents can also access community support activities through the hub, such as Redbridge, Barking and Havering Age UK’s “Di’s Diamonds” activitieswhich helps older people connect with each other using online technology.
Visitors to the site can also post notices, job opportunities and volunteer requirements to the online hub, which will be displayed on the “News”, “What’s On”, “Work” or “Explore” pages. There is also a “Connect” page where people can join activities such as Yoga, Seated Exercise, Musical Theatre Sing-a-Longs and Zumba online.
Havering Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Safety, Councillor Viddy Persaud said:
“I am incredibly proud that Havering has launched such an innovative platform to help all communities across the borough stay connected and informed with local news and events.
“The UK COVID-19 lockdown limited resident’s opportunities to access face-to-face support and services, but Havering Community Hub is stepping in to offer support and access to frontline services in a way that is lockdown-proof.”
“This is a brilliant new tool for residents and community groups. It builds on the incredible joint work between the Council and voluntary organisations which has already taken place to help so many residents through the coronavirus crisis in Havering.”
Councillor Jason Frost, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care Services said: “Havering Community Hub is a great way for communities to stay connected during these uncertain times. It also provides support for older residents that are less confident using digital channels to access key services whilst the COVID-19 pandemic persists.”
Cabinet Member for Education, Children and Families Councillor Robert Benham said: “The hub offers great activities for both children and parents and also, importantly, offers access to online safety tools to ensure children are using digital platforms safely.”
Shelley Hart, CEO of Havering Volunteer Centre (HVC) said: “Havering Volunteer Centre (HVC) has welcomed this new Community Hub site as it will help the local community to become more engaged with the services on their doorstep. We know first-hand how vital our community is to local people and this Community Hub portal has the information right at your fingertips.
“HVC is really pleased this hub is up and running and has already proved a lifeline to so many or our residents. I am really glad it’s here and we can be a part of this wonderful initiative.”
Havering Community Hub officially launches this week and also provides resources on the Council’s Public Health Campaign, #DoingMyBit, which provides crucial information on how communities can work together to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the borough.