Home Coming

After 1010 days, tomorrow were finally “home”

It’s been a very long slog, with lots of challenges along the way, not least the impact Covid-19 has had on all of us. However, tomorrow we finally receive the keys to the building we will call home. 200 years ago the hall was the stable block of the Lord of the Elmgrove Manor. More recently is was the pavilion for the Walton-on-Thames Bowling Club for the visually impaired. Roughly 6 years ago the last game was played and the doors were locked – seemingly for good. With a lot of perseverance, time, money and stress, The Elmbridge Community Eco Hub have agreed a long term lease, and will adapt the building to our needs.  It requires a bit of work on the roof, electrics and plumbing, but the shell is basically sound.

The objective is to open our doors to the general public in early January 2022. People will be able to access free food via the Community fridge,  training via the skill share, access books from our little library, learn how to repair broken items at the Repair Cafe, borrow useful tools etc at the Library of Things, recycle point for small items, grow fruit and veg in the large, secure Community Garden. Most importantly we will be providing people with an opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people, reduce social isolation and improve their physical and mental health. Everyone is welcome at the Hub, whether its to volunteer for an hour or two per week or simply dropping in to see what’s happening.

Exciting and challenging times lie ahead. We aim to be carbon negative and will collect huge amounts of data to evidence this. We will harvest as much rain water as we possibly can for use in the garden, compost everything we can, fix broken items if possible, grow organic food for the community so no air-miles attached , monitor our energy use and use solar where possible, recycle as much as we can, we’re a drop off point for Terracycle initiatives, we encourage our visitors to walk or cycle to the Hub, we aim to acquire an electric vehicle for food collections and deliveries, we will weigh the amount of surplus food saved from landfill via the community fridge, record the volume of paint saved from entering our water table via the Community Re-Paint initiative and encourage people to borrow useful but rarely used items from the Library of Things. All of these have carbon equivalent value, but also offer financial benefits to the people who use the Hub, and as importantly, a measurable social impact.