A Hub(bub) of activities and ideas

Are you a handy woodworker, or gardener? Are you good with computers? Would you like to share your skills or gain new skills?

Up to a hundred people a week are using Health For All’s Skills Hub in Beeston to explore all sorts of practical activities ranging from sewing to marquetry.

The diversity of activities comes from the staff’s open approach. Everyone who comes to the Skills Hub is encouraged to share the skills they have, explore what interests them and learn from each other. There is a very can-do atmosphere and the centre is brimming with ideas.

Nothing is static. As people learn new skills in the woodwork class a mini production line develops producing planters. These can then be sold as part of a new small business. Help and support is available at every turn.

Beeston’s best kept secret is hidden away in a corner of Cockburn School’s campus and includes classrooms, gardens with raised beds and a poly-tunnel; woodworking equipment; and a photography studio. Because of the school’s security access is arranged via the Centre Manager, Martin Brennan (07432 702911) but once through the gate there’s a warm welcome for everyone.

Brian has been coming for few months now. He said:

“I hadn’t done any woodwork for years but was keen to take it up again now I’ve retired. It’s been great coming down here, not just because they’ve got the right gear, it’s the company too – I’ve met some great people here.”

Martin explains:

“It’s amazing, when you get a group of people working together on a project they start talking about all sorts of stuff. Health issues, money problems, they get things off their chest. Often the advice comes from other members of the group, but we can signpost them to more specialist help if they need it.”

There’s plenty to do as you can see from the list of activities and projects, but if you can’t see something you would like to do, get in touch and ask if they can put it on.


Current projects and activities:

All Things Camera is just that – a chance to explore and experiement both with the camera and treating photographs using computer software such as Photoshop. The hub has extra equipment including lights, backdrop and green screen.

Horticulture. The hub has a large plot with raised beds and a poly-tunnel for growing fruit and vegetables. You can get involved with seeding and sowing or if you want a more physical workout you dig the beds.

Love Your Garden. The Hub’s community garden service is targeted at neglected and overgrown gardens in need of some TLC, volunteers are always welcome.

Get Technology Together (GTT). Come down to the computer lab on a Friday and discover new computer based technologies. Try new programmes, discuss what you find. Or join the metal bashers refurbishing old computers to be used again. They won’t repair your broken computer here, but they’ll show you how you can repair it.

Sew For Fun. This group for men and women use machines to make and recycle fabric items to can be sold at the SLATE and Revive shops.

All Things Craft. Who knew there were so many things you could do with wood? The woodworking shop has everything you need for making anything from bird boxes to furniture. Or perhaps you’d prefer wood carving or marquetry – building patterns or pictures using veneers.

South Leeds Radio. An internet radio station for the area. It’s still in the embryonic stages and needs more volunteers are needed to bring it to life. Training is available to help you make programmes and podcasts which can be streamed over the internet.

Over 50s 5-a-side football. Have you still got the skills but can’t get a game with the younger teams? Join the group at the John Charles Centre For Sport on Friday evenings.

Express Yourself. Do you find social situations or job interviews difficult? Here’s a chance to build you confidence and learn some social skills through group activities.

Local entrepreneurs. Could you turn your new skill or old hobby into a small business?

Skills For Work. Starting soon this 12 week programme will prepare you to get back into work after ill health or unemployment. The course combines cores skills in English, Maths and Computers with practical qualifications in manual handling, food safety, basic first aid, etc. There will also be the chance to explore what work you would really do and tailor your job search and CV writing skills to find the right job for you.

Film Making. A chance to find out the different skills that go into making a film from storyboarding and script writing to locations, props and costumes and of course camerawork and editing.