'Dawning of a new era' as Melbourn Community Hub prepares to reopen
- Credit: Melbourn Community Hub
Melbourn Community Hub has enlarged its premises as it rises to meet the challenges posed by social distancing and coronavirus restrictions.
The community hub temporarily withdrew its usual services during the first lockdown last year, as it was transformed into a call and operations centre for the Melbourn Coronavirus Community Response (MCCR) team.
To enable the hub's café to continue functioning with social distancing, a marquee was leased and stringent health and safety measures were put in place.
Visitors to the hub commended the dedicated of staff and volunteers, praising the hub as a safe venue.
A statement from the hub said: "With the short-notice, intermittent lockdowns, and the frequently changing laws governing hygiene and social distancing, it has meant an unprecedented test on the management team in offering up new and alternative ideas to modify and stimulate the business."
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Now, with the end of the lockdown tunnel in sight, the hub is preparing for some big improvements.
A hub spokesperson said: "The many loyal customers who have been so supportive since the inception of the hub seven years ago, will return to find a bigger, better venue.
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"There will be new and enlarged meeting rooms, a first floor disabled access toilet, improved interior decor, and added menu choices to tempt the taste buds when the building reopens in a few weeks' time."
While the hub was used as a COVID-19 community response centre, it helped more than 500 residents who were self-isolating by delivering food and collecting prescriptions, as well as providing a food bank and preparing weekly cooked food for individuals and families in need.
Since then, the hub management has taken advantage of each lockdown to increase safety measures. During the November lockdown, used an anti-microbial spray on all public areas of the building.
When the hub reopens, it will return to its usual role as a community centre and a café, with a full menu of both hot and cold food and beverages. To welcome back customers following each lockdown, the hub's Bookmarks Café offered discounts on food and drink, with special spooky treats on offer for children during Halloween.