Posted on 18 May 2023
From table tennis to sustainable cafes, we’re building brighter futures for our communities.
Building brighter futures for our customers and communities is something that we’re very proud of. Our Chief Financial and Resources Officer, Rod Holdsworth, recently visited Brighton where, thanks to Hyde Charitable Trust (HCT), we’re involved in life changing projects:
The Tarner Community Centre
Funded by HCT, the Tarner Community Centre is a charity based in Tarner Park, Brighton. It’s one of the most deprived parts of the city and the centre is dedicated to supporting the local community, providing all year round activities for children and young people.
Rod chatted to youth workers and local residents, who told him about how they rely on the centre and the vital services it provides. He found out more about the free after school clubs where children can access a free nutritional meal, get support with their school homework and play in a safe, supported environment. The centre also has youth activities delivered by a dedicated team, free holiday activities and a food bank.
Brighton Table Tennis Club
Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) focuses on physical wellbeing through playing table tennis and has produced some of the top table tennis players in the country. It provides members with positive role models - one of the coaches is Will Bayley MBE, the most successful British paralympic table tennis player of all time - and a place to train. It also delivers youth clubs and after school clubs, where children can eat for free at the onsite café.
During his visit, Rod met the centre manager and trustees and couldn’t wait to have a knock-up with some of the club’s table tennis stars. Members explained how they can get a warm nutritional meal, play sports and connect with other community services all in the same place.
Fitzherbert Community Hub
Next was lunch at the Real Junk Food Café at the Fitzherbert Community Hub, based at BTTC. BTTC has raised the funds to convert a rundown, under-used church hall into an eco-friendly safe and inviting space. Its mission is to reduce food poverty by reducing food waste (which is where the meals come from) and social isolation by welcoming local people with food, friendship and fun.
The hub has a commercial standard teaching kitchen, dining area, purpose-built food bank facilities as well as additional meeting spaces. BTTC is a managing partner of the Hub, along with the Real Junk Food Project Brighton, who run a daily ‘pay as you feel’ community café using food that would otherwise be sent to landfill.
Phoenix Food Hub
Rod’s last stop was the social supermarket at the Phoenix Estate. Rod spoke to Hyde customers who volunteer at the food hub, who explained how the cost of living crisis means that the demand for support is greater than ever, with around 60 families visiting the hub every week.
“My visit to Brighton highlighted how our projects are transforming peoples' lives by offering key support for families and young people and are often the lynchpin of local communities. The benefits of HCT’s work is demonstrated more than ever during the cost of living crisis – ensuring Hyde families can access these vital services during these challenging times.
“I was struck by how all these projects give a sense of belonging and a purpose – whether it’s brushing up on your table tennis skills, or having somewhere to enjoy a hot meal. All of them have a strong extended family aspect, where everybody is welcome. Thank you to our Hyde colleagues and community partners for all the amazing work they do.”