Back in 2021, times were hard. We were experiencing dark days of COVID where people were advised to not mix even with family and close friends. We were told to keep isolated to reduce the risks of passing on the illness to others, who might not be able to survive. We still have COVID now, it’s far less serious (fortunately) but at the time, this was a health crisis. The implications of isolation and a lack of social stimulus are still felt to this day, maybe communities would never recover to the past levels of activities – many of the social opportunities groups have since closed, closed as a result of lack of attendance, lack of attendance is due to widespread public fear. 

As a community of businesses in Harton Village, many of us decided to meet and talk about the situation – mainly about how we could work together to increase opportunities, awareness of what we do and most importantly, to discuss how we can reach out to people isolated and scared to let them know we are still there and we look forward to seeing them again, when/if they are ready. 

We discussed a group project to raise money to have a community defibrillator installed in the village. We discussed having a Christmas fayre to raise funds and we discussed how we could all work together on this project and contribute different things. A huge benefit here is that we all got the opportunity to meet each other and say hello, something that for some hadn’t happened until this meeting. 

The Community Defibrillator in Harton Village, with Kathleen and Richard.

The Community Defibrillator in Harton Village, with Kathleen and Richard.

We shared information in the community that the event was happening and it was outside for it to be safer given the advice provided around that time. We invited people to come along, say hello and be connected with their community once again. 

The 2021 Christmas fayre was a huge success, we raised far more money with kind donations from the community and the investment of time and money of the event organisers. We got the defibrillator installed outside the clinic here at Step Right Podiatry, this was a huge achievement. The event caught the attention of the QE hospital, they were replacing some of their defibrillators and had ones to be donated to communities where initiatives had been instigated in the same way we had. After an application process and various phone calls and meetings, we had donated a defibrillator from the QE hospital, and this was installed into an external cabinet at the Spar Shop, on Marsdon Road, they have kindly taken on guardian duties for this device. 

In 2022, we again met to discuss our position and reflect on the Christmas success. This led to a further event being organised and held in the village, this was our late, Queens Platinum Jubilee celebration – this was a huge celebration and a much-enjoyed event for the whole community. 

Harton Hub CIC was born on 18th Sept 2022. 

We have since submitted and have been successful in various grant applications which have supported community events and initiatives. 

On Christmas, 2022 we had another Christmas Fayre with Christmas market, Ice skating, Dickensian themed with Scrooge, Marley and the 3 ghosts present amongst numerous other characters. We had food available, late opening at (most of) the numerous shops in Harton, it was a real celebration and community party. Even Santa came along to see the children and pass on a very special Christmas message for everyone attending. These events were funded mainly through hard work of business owners raising money, a generous donation from ‘Barbour’ community fund, and also a donation from the local Council. 

Harton Village, Christmas Fayre 2022

Harton Village, Christmas Fayre 2022

Harton Village fayre, Santas Grotto 2022

Harton Village fayre, Santas Grotto 2022

Photos from Christmas Fayre 2022

Photos from Christmas Fayre 2022

Shortly after this event, we again met and discussed how we might formalise our arrangements to leave us in a better position moving forward, after taking advice and much reading and deliberation, we decided to create Harton Hub, a Community Interest Company. This means we are able to go for funding opportunities to be able to support our events in the future. 

In 2023, when our King was coronated we had a huge celebration once again. This was enabled with a grant from National Lottery. This event saw street entertainers, a bouncing castle, musicians, food, drink, a large marquee and 0000’s of people decent for the event. This was also followed by ‘The BIG Plant’ an initiative to promote planting in our community for children and adults. 

The Harton Hub team photo 2023

The Harton Hub team photo 2023

We also had an amazing LOGO designed by a child at the local school, the decision was unanimous that this was a fantastic representation of the group, the community project we have started and the energy behind the movement.

Harton Hub LOGO

Harton Hub LOGO

 

We have many more activities and community projects in the planning stage, mainly working on the 2023 Christmas Fayre at the moment. More information will follow. Please find Harton Hub on Facebook to find out more and join the conversation.