The Hub's story began in 2007...
Altrincham Baptist Church had been on a long-term search for more space and an opportunity to better connect and serve the local community. After several disappointments there came a break-through. A member of the church was taking her daily dog walk when she had one of ‘those moments’ passing the then empty Pownall Road Daycare Centre just 2 minutes walk from the church.
With good links already established, the church approached Trafford Council with a proposal to breathe new life into the vacant building with plans for a new community centre. The council agreed and the church was given 18 months to demonstrate what could be done.
By May 2008 and after a not insignificant amount of wall demolition, bathroom removal (you wouldn’t believe how many toilets there were to deal with!), stripping out, rebuilding and painting, The Hub was ready to open its doors.
A café was sited at the heart of the building in order to provide a relaxed, social space for connection and groups such as the Toddlers, After School Club, exercise classes and ‘Knit & Natter’ were quickly established. Over time more groups became part of the ‘Hub Family’ and, as the months passed, the CAP (Christians Against Poverty) debt centre and Counselling Service opened and became vital and well used services in the community.
In 2010 Trafford Council extended the lease for a 25 year period and the Hub continued to grow from strength to strength. Equally, building work has never really stopped with a new heating system, new windows, lighting and the joys of asbestos removal! Right now we are undertaking the exciting work of refitting the large kitchen, bringing increased capacity and options to the services The Hub provides.
As the number of groups using the building has grown, so too has our truly brilliant team of volunteers, who keep everything running smoothly. Our volunteers really are invaluable, something which was recognized in 2016 when The Hub received the Queen’s Award for Volunteering - if only everyone could have made the trip to the Palace, it would have been quite a scene!!
Amongst much celebration, The Hub reached the grand old age of 10 back in May 2018, but things never stand still. Even amid a global pandemic The Hub has found itself adapting and focusing on the best way it can support those around us who may be struggling. What we thought might be a task for a couple of months, has in fact seen The Hub working as one of Trafford’s Community Response Hubs for the past 18 months. It has been both hard work and a privilege.
We are close to being 'fully open' again and almost there in restoring those pieces of ‘Hub Life’ that we have missed during this time (not long now before the cafe will be back to life and welcoming all in for a coffee and cake!) But regardless of whether we can meet in person, The Hub will remain an outworking of Christian love to the community of Altrincham.
To learn more about Altrincham Baptist Church, please click through to the church website here