A new community support hub was officially opened yesterday in Gosport by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal.
The Gosport Community Hub has been made possible thanks to grants from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) totaling almost £400,00.
The Princess Royal met children from local schools, joined discussions with parents and community leaders, and despite wind and rain, planted a tree in the Hub’s community garden.
Developed in partnership with the Gosport and Fareham Multi Acadamy Trust (GFMAT), the Hub is located within the grounds of Brune Park Community School and aims to support Gosport’s significant number of Royal Navy families, as well as the wider community.
RNRMC funding has enabled not only the construction of this important building but has also ensured there are dedicated staff to work with Service children and families. The Academy’s Service Children and Families Lead and Service Children’s Co-ordinator (both sponsored by the RNRMC) have already provided personalised, ongoing wellbeing support to more than a third of the schools’ Service children.
This support includes Talking Teens Group Chat, a community kitchen project, Lego therapy, Multi Agency Support and Early Help Service Family Intervention.
Mandy Lindley, Director of Relationships and Funding at the RNRMC, said:
“As a Royal Navy veteran and Gosport resident of over 40 years, I am part of a proud Royal Navy community in this area. My husband and I both served, and my family have experienced some of the unique challenges and difficulties that come with service life, experiences shared by many families here in Gosport. Therefore, the creation of the Gosport Community Hub to support local Royal Navy families and the wider school community has personal significance for me, and I am proud that the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity has been at the forefront of delivering this milestone facility. However, it is the hard work and vision of Chris Willis and his team at the Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust that have brought the Hub to life, and we know that under their stewardship it will be an invaluable resource for Gosport's children and their families for many years to come.”
The Hub is accessible to all families across the collaboration of schools in the Multi Academy Trust. More than 250 families have been able to access these community outreach programmes and activities.
Chris Willis, Executive Headteacher at the GFMT, was crowned Income Innovator of the Year at the National School Awards 2021 for his involvement in this project. He said:
“The Hub is part of our wider Gosport community strategy, which focuses on raising the aspiration and engagement of our families and community partners across the town. We strongly believe that through collaboration with key stakeholders, charities, businesses and other organisations we can do far more together and achieve great things for Gosport. We are very grateful to RNRMC for their support and investment into our strategy and we’re excited about all that the future has in store for everyone across our community.”