MoHub Seeks Support in Providing FoodNeil Hardie
Montrose Community Hub’s youth club welcomes more than 100 young people each week for low-cost hot food and snacks and activities. In the future, it hopes to offer up dinners too.
Four days a week, children in primary 5, 6 and 7 come together at Montrose Community Hub (MoHub) to play games, enjoy food and relax together.
At the youth cafe, there is a gaming lounge, a pool table, comfy seating and a TV, and hot smacks for teat time.
The menu boasts anything from hot dogs and sausage rolls to toasties and chicken nuggets, all costing a pound or less.
Office and operations manager Helen Mearns says no child will leave the Murray Street hub without being fed.
“We try to foster a family atmosphere, so they know they’re always welcome,” she said.
“It’s a case of if they can pay, they do pay, but if they can’t, they don’t have to. The young people know this and so do the parents.
“There’s no judgement and nobody else needs to know.”
As well as the junior youth cafe, MoHub offers two sessions a week for pupils in secondary school. They also get a hot snack provision.
For some children, their only hot meal is their school dinner. In a survey MoHub did last year, half of respondents said free hot food would make a massive difference to their home finances.
As there are on average 112 youngsters at the youth clubs each week, Helen is looking for extra funding to help feed the children.
“We’re looking to get some sort of sponsorship, perhaps from local businesses. For £100 a week, we could feed every child that comes into the building.” she added.
“It would make a massive difference to the community. I’ve been there myself, knowing that your child is fed takes a massive worry away.
“Everybody’s got enough to be worrying about at the moment, so if we can do that one little thing, it makes a big difference.”
Four staff members work at MoHub alongside the office and operations manager. They also have four youth volunteers who came to the clubs when they were younger.
While the volunteers are vital to MoHub, Helen insists that the most important people are the children who come to their youth clubs.
Helen said: “Parents are so happy that the young people are involved in decisions, take responsibility for themselves and have the freedom to do what they want.
“We try to involve the young people and their parents, because without their input we can’t help.
“We’re all looking for the same outcome, to make the community a better place.”