Hackney group crowdfunds for new community hub
- Credit: Clapton Commons
Following their successful renovation of a disused toilet block, now called Liberty Hall on Clapton Common, a group of Hackney neighbours hope to restore the undercroft of St Thomas Church.
The space, to be known as “The Common Room”, will house a number of new community initiatives such as food bank drop-in sessions, one-to-one counselling and inter-generational meals.
Kate Joseph, a trustee of Clapton Commons said: “We’ve been having conversations with local groups who are wanting to respond to the current situation.
“So, we are taking on the project at Clapton Commons, to provide them with a space to bring their ideas to life."
The campaign is being run via SpaceHive, an initiative set-up by the office of the Mayor of London and Clapton Commons hope to raise £58,000 by May 1.
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On March 16, they received £30,000 from the Mayor of London, bringing their current total up to £36,642 at the time of writing.
The new hall is being renovated with help from Tony Staples, a local architect.
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Clapton Commons has plans to create a community canteen and kitchen, an exercise studio, a workshop space and six meeting rooms.
Following the completion of the renovation of Liberty Hall and its successful opening, the group is now looking to expand their community spaces.
“In this part of Hackney, there aren’t that many shared spaces where neighbours can come together,” said Kate.
“That was our hope in creating Liberty Hall and we’ve been successful in that but there are limitations to how many groups we can have within that space.”
The pandemic has fed into an appetite for more community initiatives in and around north Hackney which has helped with the expansion of Clapton Commons.
Kate added that the first lockdown “was a time in which we built our network,” because "so many people in the neighbourhood were coming forward and wanting to connect with their neighbours".
Clapton Commons will rent out some of the new rooms for use by local groups, allowing them to generate an income which they will put back into community projects.
To support the crowdfunder visit www.spacehive.com/the-common-rooms-for-clapton
For more information visit www.claptoncommons.org