In 2010, the Framlingham Rotary Club launched a community project to connect tradespeople and volunteers to help vulnerable local people with day-to-day tasks they could not do themselves. Over time, the project has turned into Hour Community, a fully-fledged business, supporting the elderly residents, and those with physical and mental health issues and disabilities in and around this small Suffolk market town, and the nine villages surrounding it.
Power to Change awarded Hour Community a £10,000 match trading grant to build their team’s capacity through the Community Business Trade Up programme delivered in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE).
Help at Home Scheme
The organisation was initially set up to provide home services and odd-jobs to local people by linking those in need to volunteers or local tradespeople willing to donate their time (hence ‘hour’ community) offering help with anything from plumbing, DIY, gardening, dog-walking or fitting smoke alarms. This not only benefits vulnerable people, but offers tradespeople the opportunity to do odd jobs that they might not normally do.
After hearing that someone who lived locally had to take 4 buses and a train to get to their hospital appointment, 38 miles away from the town, Hour Community started a dial a ride Community Bus service to take passengers to and from hospital, doctors, dentists and vets, as well as operating a regular programme for days out.
We provide community solutions to community issues. As we are made aware of certain needs, we try and address them
Supporting mental health and wellbeing
Hour Community also run The Worry Tree café every Friday night where those who are affected by mental health issues or who just want to get out of the house can come in for tea and chat to others who are facing similar challenges. Currently 20-40 people visit the café on a weekly basis, which has improved social inclusion and mitigated isolation within the community.
Befriending dementia sufferers
As well as this, Hour Community runs a Befriending service, along side a monthly dementia friendly lunch club, where a professional can spend up to 4 hours a day supporting people who have dementia and their carers to address any needs or concerns they may have.
There are many ways to get involved and support Hour Community, from volunteering an hour of your time, to donating an hour’s worth of your salary– find out more through their website.