Community network takes shape in Erdington.
On Friday Witton Lodge Community Association officially launched its brand-new Witton Lakes Eco Hub, offering local people an array of services and activities that will support them with health and wellbeing, employment and skills, and benefit advice, along with wider support needs, such as fuel and food poverty.
The facility was officially opened by Linda Hines MBE, Chair of Witton Lodge Community Association, who was accompanied by WLCA board director and 100-year-old volunteer Mary Harvey, along with recently elected Erdington MP, Paulette Hamilton.
The formal event included presentations from the WLCA management team, who explained the history behind the project and discussed the services that will be delivered for local people from the Eco Hub.
Erdington MP Paulette Hamilton and Rob Annable, of Axis Design Architects, the company which designed the state-of-the-art facility, also delivered talks as did Paul Fozard and Sharon Haden on behalf of the Friends of Witton Lakes group.
“This new Eco Hub is an absolutely wonderful,” said Paulette. “Witton Lodge have done a phenomenal job. I’m so impressed. More than that, I’m so impressed with the vision. Because this didn’t just happen overnight, it’s taken years.
“What they’ve done is, through partnerships, through the vision and through tenacity, they’ve managed to put together something that will be sustainable, that will be environmentally friendly, and that will look at people’s wellbeing needs, especially in a time when people’s mental health needs are rising.
“I think for people who sometimes haven’t got a great deal, it’ll be a bit of escapism. It’ll be something where you can meet with others, have a cup of coffee and get involved in different activities.”
Performances from members of the Birmingham Opera Group entertained an invited crowd of over forty people, while pupils from the nearby Wilson Stuart School enjoyed planting flowers in the newly laid raised flower beds.
Sharon Haden, a long-time volunteer with the Friends of Witton Lakes reflected on the opening. “It’s an absolutely huge achievement and it’s so nice to see the Eco Hub finally finished,” she said.
“It’s great to have something like this on our own doorstep and I can’t see why local people wouldn’t want to come around and be involved and look at what we’ve done.
“My 14-year-old son comes along and volunteers too. So, it’s an opportunity for the younger generation as well, to put something into the community and learn things.”
Services and activities are set to start running at the Witton Lakes Eco Hub during from the middle of May. Keep an eye on the Witton Lodge Community Association website for further details.