Community hub relaunched

The Valley Project is continually finding new ways to embrace and support its local community,...
The Valley Project is continually finding new ways to embrace and support its local community, say (from left) Valley Project manager Tess Trotter, Charlotte Wilson and business development worker Jo Mohan. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
The Valley Project is launching a new-look community hub and a local business project as part of its continuing efforts to encourage community connections.

Manager Tess Trotter said the business project, which aimed to support businesses with networking, including via digital and social media, would be facilitated by Valley Project staff and volunteers.

Business development worker Jo Mohan is focusing on a range of areas, from supporting the local economy, businesses and workers, to broader issues such as the environment and supporting vulnerable members of the community.

Supported through the MBIE Supporting Workers and Workplaces Assistance Fund, the aim of the business network is to bring local businesses together through increased awareness, provide training and learning opportunities, networking and a sense of unity.

Having Ms Mohan to support and mentor local businesses would be invaluable for the wider community, Ms Trotter said.

"A large element of it is working in the digital arena, especially as more and more people are working and doing things online."

Space would be made available at the Valley Project rooms in North Rd, where people could come and practise using online tools and improve their digital knowledge.

To help raise awareness of the business project, Ms Mohan is organising a T-shirt competition, giving community members the chance to create a T-shirt design to be worn by Valley Project staff, volunteers and community members.

"This is a great way to encourage community creatives with a wider enthusiasm for the community," Ms Mohan said.

"We hope the winning design can encapsulate this sense of local pride, and the T-shirt wearers will be like walking billboards for our community."

The relaunch of the community hub at the Valley Project rooms — entitled Collective Action Towards Community Hauora (CATCH) — was in response to Covid-19 and the increasing need for community-led initiatives to build resilience, Ms Trotter said.

It would also help provide a link to services to support people who had endured negative impacts of the pandemic.

There would be space for groups to meet, and also hot desks available for people who might be working remotely but needed company and support.

"Through the hub we can find small ways of supporting people, remind everyone to take care of themselves in difficult times and have a place to drop in," Ms Trotter said.

To increase the accessibility of the hub to the wider community, the Valley Project rooms are now open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, with a late night on Thursdays.

On its first Saturday, a community barbecue attracted 50 people, which was a great start, she said.

For more information on joining the business network and the T-shirt design competition, email


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