The future of a Fishersgate community group secured by neighbouring college

Released: Monday, 13 March 2023

A community group that has been supporting people in Adur since the start of Covid is celebrating after a neighbouring college and Adur District Council helped secure the lease on its Fishersgate base.

Adur Community Gateway was set up during the pandemic to encourage residents in Fishersgate, Shoreham and Southwick to support each other with food shopping, picking up prescriptions and reducing isolation.

The group has also been running a food bank and community pantry at the Gateway Hub on West Road in Fishersgate since Eastbrook Primary Academy stopped using the building.

The former school building, that is now vacant, was set to be returned to owners West Sussex County Council, leading Adur District Council to step in and help secure the lease for the residents that rely on the hub's support.

Now the hub's neighbour, SML College, is helping out by taking over the building's lease. SML College is run by The Centre for Self Managed Learning and supports pupils ages 9 to 17 who struggle with mainstream education. The college, which is currently based in the building opposite, has sub-let the space to Adur Community Gateway for five years, with a two-year rent-free period.

The move is an example of Adur District Council's campus style approach to community working, which encourages community groups and organisations to work together to support residents and help the area thrive. Mental health charity Mind will also be using the building to provide advice and support services.

SML College and Adur Community Gateway plan to work together to ensure the future of the hub, as well as develop new ideas to rejuvenate the space - like creating a kitchen for preparing hot meals or garden for growing fresh produce. Students from the college will also gain valuable skills and experience by volunteering at the hub.

Jill Lennon, from the Gateway Hub, said:

“We are delighted to now have a permanent home for the hub after a turbulent and uncertain two years. The additional space that has been granted to us will allow us to deliver more services to the community. We are grateful to SML College for including us in their plans.”

Carl Brady, Coordinator for SML College, added:

“We are really pleased to acquire this new site. Demand for our provision has significantly increased since the pandemic, so we have had to expand to meet this level of need. Along with the Gateway Hub, we are providing a vital community asset - one that supports young people who are out of school, and another that supports local community members with any assistance they require.”

Cllr Kevin Boram, Adur's Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, said:

“The Gateway Hub is such an important asset for this hard-pressed community and is a great example of our policy to help communities to help themselves. It will give them an opportunity to work closely with Adur District Council and other organisations to deliver much wanted services and support right in the centre of this community. As Cabinet Member for Communities and Wellbeing, I look forward to working closely with the hub to maximise its impact.”

To find out more about the group, see the:

PR23-029 - Adur Community Gateway logo


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Page last updated: 05 December 2023

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