A much-anticipated community building in Churchill Gardens in Boscombe, Dorset will be open for business, the focal point of a food and well-being project.
The building is part of the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council's ASPIRE (Adding to Social capital and individual Potential In disadvantaged REgions) programme, which aims to help people boost their self-esteem and focus on their wellbeing by supporting them towards employability and healthier, more active lifestyles.
Those taking part, which as a "grow your own, eat your own and sell your own" ethos at its core, will become more active, work towards achieving goals and focus on healthier food. Funded as part of the Interreg VA Channel, which is a cooperation programme, co-funded by the European Union, which strives to reduce disparities in the levels of development, growth and quality of life in and across Europe’s regions. Their programme contributes to this objective and runs from 2021 to 2027. Also working with other partners, including C3 Collaborating for Health, to deliver this exciting programme.
The building will also be home of the community Joy Cafe, which will serve hot drinks and food 6 days a week from 2nd July 2022.
To date, the ASPIRE project has attracted over 100 participants who engaged in the taster session last year and in the first half of 2022, alongside the activity partners of Vita Nova, Bournemouth Wellbeing Experience, Grounded Community and community choir and Boscombe Sing. Together they provide a range of activities: performing arts, gardening, dance, yoga, meditation, Pilates and other small group sessions.
They have another event on 18th June 2022 from 2pm-6pm, including stalls, music, dance, community singing, fancy dress and theatre as an additional event to celebrate the Queens' Platinum Jubilee. The next phase of the programme will focus on scaling up the activities through the summer and supporting participants on their wellbeing journey and progress.
Cllr Jane Kelly, Lead member for Communities said, “I am so pleased to see BCP’s ASPIRE programme already helping so many local residents. Eating healthily can seem unachievable on a budget and knowing how to grow and prepare fresh food can make all the difference. This project will be invaluable to so many and the hub itself will be a valuable asset to the residents and the local community who use Churchill Gardens.”
Additionally, at the event the new building name will be announced chosen through a community poll. A new garden has been set up already next to the new building to add to their efforts and pop-up health checks in their Health Kiosk, which will be split between their and the Boscombe Library during the Spring and Summer.