As the recently appointed Chair of Trustees of Lee Hub - Independent Community Library (Lee Hub) I am encouraged at the progress the strategic project team (a small group of residents, supported by our local Councillors), achieved in such a short space of time to establish the vital foundations to make Lee Hub a reality.
The appointed volunteer board of Trustees are now working hard to continue this work and to ensure Lee Hub becomes a vibrant place to meet, learn, read and chat over a cup of tea or coffee. I hope this update will keep you informed of our progress so far.
The Charity Commission confirmed our charity registration on 22 January 2021; being a registered charity will support us in registering for Gift Aid, opening our bank account and applying for further grants.
Opening Lee Hub
The national lockdown announced on 3 January 2021 does add additional challenges to the opening of the doors of Lee Hub, as was originally planned for 1 February 2021. We must be guided by the Government advice and as yet cannot confirm a date, but we are aiming for an official opening in the Spring.
Please watch out on our Facebook page and our website www.leehub.co.uk for further updates.
When we get access to 14 High Street, we will start our commissioning activities that includes: establishing our own Broadband and IT to get our library stock management software up and running and enabling the public access computers. There is also the need to re-label nearly 8,000 items gifted from the County Council, before we can loan them out. The Trustees and I are exploring opportunities to deliver an element of library services and an on-line presence, within the limitations of lockdown restrictions and public health guidance.
We will publish details at a later date of how you can join the “Friends of Lee Hub”. That will entitle you to be a member of the Charity to help in its stewardship and get a library card to borrow books and other items. Membership subscriptions will support the day-to-day running costs of Lee Hub, like any organisation we have insurances, utilities, licences and business rates to pay.
I am grateful for the generosity of our community to help us raise over £700 on our GoFundMe website page; donations are a vital source of funds as we need to raise £10,000 in year one to cover ongoing costs. We have also been successful in being awarded £20,000 in grant funding to cover our year one set-up costs including equipment. We are aware a number of people prefer to donate by cheque or direct payment, if this is the case please email email@example.com and we can make the necessary arrangements.
I know from your support, feedback and my own personal experience, as a Lee resident, how much a community library means to Lee-on-the-Solent. Lee Hub will aim to deliver a community library, community café and bookable spaces for activities, health and wellbeing programmes.
Finally, I would like to thank those that have come forward to volunteer; the success of Lee Hub will only be possible with the community coming together and the more volunteers we have the more we will be able to keep our doors open. If you are interested in volunteering please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your ongoing interest in Lee Hub and please complete the latest survey, if you have not done so already, and keep watching our website www.leehub.co.uk and Facebook pages for updates."
Chair of Trustees
Lee Hub - Independent Community Library
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation No.1193198