A very special place where people can meet up informally, take part in activities or drop in for help and advice when needed.

What others say

Community House nurtures green shoots

Miriam* became a volunteer at the Community House in 2009 supporting the Krafty Kids activities every Wednesday for 6 months. Miriam progressed to do an ASDAN qualification in volunteering and first aid training. This gave her the confidence to a take part-time position with a local gardener.

After a conversation with the community development worker Miriam confirmed her gardening passion and expressed an interest in starting a Community House gardening group for children and young people.

Miriam planned and undertook risk assessments for the sessions. She then took time out to prepare the garden for planting and purchased plants on behalf of the Community House in readiness of the first session.

The ‘Green Gang’ gardening sessions were introduced at the end of March which not only introduced them to gardening skills, but also helped the children and young people understand more about general sustainability and ‘green’ issues.

Miriam undertook online research before purchasing a polytunnel for the garden. This has enabled her to demonstrate how to germinate seeds before planting out in the garden. The garden has now taken on a new shape that looks great and Miriam has really blossomed.

As a result of this experience and with encouragement from the Community House team, Miriam, in partnership with a friend, has set up her own gardening business in May 2010. Her services were in demand in a very short space of time and of course, the Community House team have contributed to this by referring Miriam to potential clients.

Miriam continues to volunteer at the Community House even though she’s juggles a heavy workload and young family. She thoroughly enjoys what she is doing now in her new career.

* All names have been changed to protect privacy

A beacon for opportunity, fairness, fun and good advice

I first heard of Worthing Homes after I had been made homeless and was staying in B&B accommodation at which my seven year old son was unable to visit. It was a rough time, I was very low and I was offered a temporary contract for a one room flat… which meant my son could visit and I could smile again…

I rebuilt my life and worked for pathways to work on a three year contract. Unfortunately, when this didn’t work out, I became seriously depressed once again. This set my recovery back several years, but with help from Mind my condition improved and I began volunteering. But I really couldn’t see a way back into full time employment again.

After receiving career’s advice I thought I might like to work with young people. Worthing Homes put me in touch with the Community House and I offered my services… ‘I like gardening and art, do I have something to offer?’ I was very unsure of myself… but I was welcomed with open arms and although it took ages for my CRB check to come through, I was able to work with a group of youngsters both in the garden and at art sessions alongside other team members.

It was not always easy, the kids were sometimes not focused and they fell out with one another, but there was also enormous kindnesses, help and support between them all – it was so rewarding.

The team at Worthing Homes were a great support and I was able to talk to someone who was a school governor at a primary school… They suggested I look into becoming a paid teaching assistant.

All the while I continued as a volunteer at the Community House, but started volunteering two mornings a week at Sompting Village Primary School.

Three years later I am a full time paid teaching assistant. This wouldn’t have been possible without Krafty Kids, Greenfingers Club and all my colleagues at the community house. THANKYOU.

Following eight or nine years as a Worthing Homes tenant volunteer – as a mystery shopper, part of the Homenews design team, fun day helper, tenant involvement team and participating in training schemes, I was given the chance to become a tenant director of Worthing Homes. I have now been a director for three years.

I still live with depression but I am paid to work (I receive £13 a month housing benefit – so I have nearly left benefits behind, which is something I really want to do). My son Robbie is now 17 and completing his A’ levels and he says he’s proud of me – on a good day I feel proud too.

This summer I was able to volunteer for a few days at the Community House and it is as good as ever (maybe even better!)

The Community House is a beacon for opportunity, fairness, fun and good advice. It has played a big part in my recent achievements and celebrated with me when I moved on. I recommend it to anyone rebuilding their lives – go for it – with the help of the Community House.

John*

* All names have been changed to protect privacy