Crossroads Primary School was the focal point of the community in the Crossroads area of East Ayrshire and when it closed down in 2010 local residents felt that it resulted in a loss of a sense of community in the area. A group was formed to prevent the closure of the primary school and in their survey of around 70 families in the area 97% expressed a deep concern for the future with 81% supporting the idea that a connection with school had increased their sense of community involvement.
Following the school closure, invitations to an informal lunch were distributed to households in the Crossroads catchment area. From this community get-together came the idea of re-establishing a community in the Crossroads area through creating a Community Hub.
Crossroads Community Hub Ltd was set up as a Community Development Association and a company limited by guarantee in August 2011, to take this idea forward. The catchment area for Crossroads Community Hub includes small towns, villages and rural homes in the parishes of Galston, Riccarton, Sorn, Mauchline , Tarbolton and Craigie. Research shows that people who get involved in their local community feel more fulfilled and lead happier lives.
To develop a new building at Crossroads to meet the needs of local people, by creating a place for people to meet and to develop new knowledge, skills and capacity largely around food/food production in order to stimulate social and economic regeneration. The unique approach of “Ayrshire Food from Ayrshire Folk” is that it will be run by the community with profits being allocated for the benefit of the community.
- Create local employment and opportunities for skills development and start up opportunities for small businesses.
- Provide an outlet for local farmers and growers , to showcase high quality affordable local produce and transparency of food source.
- Source all foods predominantly from within Ayrshire to minimise “food miles” and reflect this in cost to consumers .
- Promote food education encompassing all aspects of the food chain from farm to table including accessible online features about seasonal rural life such as lambing and harvesting.
- Establish a gallery for local artists and craft workers including those from HMP Kilmarnock to regenerate traditional crafts and build confidence, business knowledge and networks.
- Enable groups from within the community to meet socially, build confidence and self esteem by providing educational, social and recreational activities with online access to training or practical skills, all designed to improve health and wellbeing.
The lifelong learning partnership ( formerly education group ) is the education arm of the Crossroads Community Hub