Rishi has praised the work of a community organisation which has decided to be more ‘upfront’ about the services it provides.
He visited the Northallerton High Street premises of Hambleton Community Action (HCA) which were opened as Upfront earlier this year.
The new community space encourages people to find out about the many services the charity offers and also the opportunities available to volunteer.
It’s a social space with a communal sitting area, free hot drinks and access to IT facilities and the internet. There is also a community jigsaw and book swap facilities, while local groups are able to reserve some of the space for meetings and activities.
Upfront is working in partnership with charities, voluntary groups and other organisations which complement the services of Hambleton Community Action.
HCA’s chief officer Liz Lockey said: “Upfront has been very popular and so many people are using it on a daily basis in many different ways and for different reasons. We wanted to engage more with our community and the team of volunteers and staff have done a fantastic job in making it a success.”
Rishi said Upfront was a great addition to the town centre.
“Hambleton Community Action has been doing wonderful work in our local community for years but I suspect many residents are not aware of what it is and does,” he said.
“Upfront being on a prominent position on the High Street addresses that issue to make sure as people as possible are aware of the many services it provides.”
Rishi was accompanied on his visit by Cllr Caroline Dickinson, the North Yorkshire Council member for Northallerton South. She said: “Upfront is proving to be a real asset, an easily-accessible focal point for people to pop-in, have a chat and a drink with the volunteers who do an excellent job.”
UpFront is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, staffed by a member of the Hambleton Community Action team, assisted by volunteers.
Services provided or supported by Hambleton Community Action include a community car and Shopping Angels scheme and the Wheels 2 Work moped loan project that helps people get to work, apprenticeships or training where no other transport is available.
There are also support services to tackle social isolation, including a community visiting scheme, and assistance for people who need assistance to access training and employment opportunities.
Information about all the services offered by the charity and opportunities to volunteer can be found at Upfront at 159/160 High Street.