ONE of the charities facing homelessness after being told its community hub in Stratford has to close is appealing for help to find a new base.
Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project is one of 12 charities looking for a new home following Stratford Town Trust’s announcement it would have to say goodbye to its current community hub, Foundation House, in June.
Since it opened in 2018, the hub on Masons Road has provided low-cost space to charities, as well as supporting many more through activities for the local community and flexible spaces available for hire.
Activities at Foundation Hub have included Fun Palaces, regular Community Cafes, Winter Warm Hubs, a successful Repair Cafe in partnership with Net Zero Stratford and hosting weekly ESOL classes and NHS diabetic eye screening.
But earlier this year, the landlord for Foundation House gave notice of its intention to exercise a break clause in the lease in order that the land can be developed as part of the Canal Quarter Redevelopment Zone. Despite attempts to negotiate an extension of the lease to provide enough time to find alternative premises in consultation with the current user groups and stakeholders, this wasn’t granted.
As a result, all 12 charities have now been given notice to vacate the building by June 21 and WRAP has launched an appeal on Facebook for anyone who can help them find a new home.
The action group was set up 25 years ago to support and train people caring for older people in the local communiity and began its life under the control of Warwickshire’s Community Education Service.
Since then, WRAP’s support services have grown and the charity has proved a life line for those living with dementia and their carers.
Foundation House has provided the group with a base from which to run many of its activities and a place to store their vital reminiscence items.
A statement from WRAP said: “Unfortunately due to situations outside of our control, we have to vacate Foundation House by the middle of June. We are therefore looking for new premises for WRAP in order for us to continue with our work in the community.
“We don’t need a great deal of office space, but we do need space for our Resource Centre equipment that has to be stored and easily accessed by our volunteers. The equipment includes our precious trigger boxes that provide such wonderful reminiscence experiences to those living with dementia.”
Anyone who can help should contact Mike Strophair on 01789 261061 or message WRAP on Facebook.
Stratford Town Trust meanwhile has said it will offer support to all 12 charities looking for a new home. This includes brokering introductions with other local community facilities and funding, if needed, to cover the cost of storage or space in the short term.
The Trust is also exploring the possibility of running some if its community hub activities from Venture House for a period of 12 months while it seeks a longer term solution.
Other charities based at Foundation House include Second Thoughts Drama Group, Escape Arts, Safeline, Shakespeare Lions, Stratford Army Cadets and Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action.