Coalfields Regeneration Trust has awarded £5,000 to Polbeth Village Hall to support a Community Development Worker role to help deliver a range of drop-in services and activity programmes.

The association is responsible for the day to day running of the hall which includes the main community space for the village. Maintaining community involvement in the facility has been a major objective of the group which has recently faced potential budget cuts.

A community action plan for Polbeth was recently completed by the Regeneration Steering Group in collaboration with the local primary and high school, Community Learning and Development group, Community Council, local church, other uniformed organisations and the community garden group.

The plan identified the lack of social interaction opportunities for elderly, disabled and people vulnerable people through poverty and inequality, which the village hall is in a unique position to address. The CAP identified three key areas to be addressed:

  • Poverty, health and wellbeing
  • Environment and feeling safe
  • Recreation and facilities

A Community Development Worker position is will deliver a range of drop in services and activity programmes aligned to the CAP’s identified needs. A total of 50 sessions are planned over the course of one year, to be delivered in partnership with West Calder and Harburn CDT’s Good Connections Project and other partner groups who will assist individuals in accessing services.

Commenting on the funding awarded to Polbeth Village Hall, Coalfields Regeneration Trust trustee Bob Young said: “Through its links with Fareshare, the association will provide free or low-cost food to families in need in a stigma free environment of activities and cookery classes as an alternative to foodbanks.

“Individuals with more complex needs will be supported individually to access the appropriate statutory benefits and health service consultations. Providing simple access and support services with physical activity, nutritious food and cooking skills, and increased social opportunities will contribute to improved health outcomes for service users.”

Erin Anderson at Polbeth Village Hall added: “We are thrilled to be appointing a new community development worker for Polbeth. This will be the HUB’s first full time employee working solely on the development of activities and provision for the local community in line with the community action plan, which has been developed by locals.

“The funding from Coalfields Regeneration Trust towards the post will allow the HUB to provide even more services and support for the local community while ensuring we continue to support the individuals and families who need an extra hand.”