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Hub@531: The hub connecting an Edinburgh community

Publication: C&B News

The Development Officer of a community space in Juniper Green, Edinburgh, explains how it helps residents avoid isolation.

Hub@531 Photo by C&B News | Licensed for use on Scottish Beacon | All rights reserved

Hub@531 on Lanark Road in Edinburgh’s Juniper Green opened in February 2023 and, thanks to the commitment from a team of hard-working volunteers, has already offered a varied programme of events throughout the year.

The purpose of Hub@531 is to provide nearby communities with a small, welcoming and accessible facility that can be used by local people to organise groups, events and classes—and, in particular, gives somewhere to go for those who feel isolated or alone. Many of the activities at the Hub are free, although a small donation to cover the costs of refreshments is appreciated.

Mondays at the hub are all about coming along to meet other people. Doors open at 10 am for “Come for a Cuppa”, and you’ll receive a warm welcome! The kettle is always on, the biscuit tin is open, and there is usually an optional game of Scrabble or similar going on. The welcome continues at noon with “Mindfulness”, an opportunity to spend some time together when the focus is more on being than doing. Then, at 1.30 pm, it’s our regular baby group, an opportunity for new parents to meet others and make new friends. Regular “BookBug” sessions are included by Susan, featuring nursery rhymes, songs and stories.

Firm favourites in the programme include the Tuesday morning knitting group, which meets to knit together, sharing experiences and helping novice knitters improve their skills.

From baby clothes to blankets and jumpers, much of their prolific output is donated to local charities. On Wednesday afternoon at 1.30 p.m., the Pentland Sporting Memories group use the hub to get together and chat about anything (and everything) to do with sport – a chance to get out of the house and meet like-minded sports fans over a cuppa.

Crafting is a popular use for the hub. We’ve already hosted crochet, glass painting and macrame evenings and afternoons, and Autumn dates are on the calendar for Halloween cake decorating (parent/child), Christmas decorations and wreath making—many thanks to the wonderful volunteers from SWI who support our craft events.

When it’s not being used for community groups or events, The Hub@531 is available to hire. The hub offers a large room, suitable for up to 24 people, with tables and chairs and basic kitchen facilities for making tea and coffee. It has ramp access and a fully accessible toilet, and it’s kept clean and tidy, well heated and lit.

Find more about Hub@531 here: