About Green COMMUNITY Hubs

Green Community Hubs

Green community hubs are natural, outdoor spaces that are activated as a base for community activities. 

They might be community gardens, parks, nature reserves, or even just a small pocket of land on a housing estate. 

Whatever form they take, they become part of the social infrastructure of a neighborhood or community – the places and spaces that enable social connections to flourish.

Julie's Story

“There is something about the soil. It helps mental health; it diverts your brain. A few months ago, I was really down, and I just said to another lady I’m going down to the gardens, and we both just cleared plots. The pair of us walked out of here as if we’d had the best day ever. It gives you somewhere beyond your own four walls to think.”

Colin's Story

“During lockdown I was given responsibility for maintaining the site, making sure all of the crops were watered and the bees were fed. Throughout the summer Grow Speke donated fresh fruit and vegetables grown on site to hundreds of local families and community groups. I loved being part of this and seeing first-hand how Grow Speke can make a difference to people’s lives.”

Growing Spaces

Groundwork’s 2020 report, Growing Spaces, explored the benefits that three green community hubs in different parts of the country were creating for local people, and imagined the role they could play as we emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic showed us how important our social connections, and our ability to be active in green spaces are to our health and wellbeing. It also unlocked a whole new appetite for local volunteering. Green Community Hubs provide a focus for this voluntary action and a platform for delivering a much broader range of social, environmental and economic benefits in local areas.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s national chief executive

Now, Groundwork is helping to create 5 new Green Community Hubs across 5 different Groundwork Trusts in the North of England. At the same time, it is building this new Northern Network in order to share learning, experiences and resources in order to empower more people to take action in this way.

Although all Green Community Hub is unique, they often all share a series of recognizable, and replicable, features and are able to deliver broadly similar outcomes for people and places:

Social Spaces

Green Community Hubs are fundamentally social spaces that help people to broaden their networks and foster a sense of belonging.

Equality and Inclusion

The contribution of every individual is valued equally at Green Community Hubs, no matter their starting point.

Enhancing prospects

Green Community Hubs can act as stepping stones, helping people into employment or back into education.

Health and happiness

People who spend time at Green Community Hubs report a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.

Enabling community life

Green Community Hubs bring together people from different walks of life, fostering greater community cohesion the skills and knowledge of dedicated staff play a crucial role in enabling community life in and around the hub.

Improving the environment

Green Community Hubs help to improve the local environment on the sites themselves, promote connection to nature and horticultural skills, ‘green’ the local area, and can play a role in raising awareness of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Northern Network Pilot Hubs

As part of the Northern Network, Groundwork is helping to create 5 new Green Community Hubs across 5 different Groundwork Trusts in the North of England. Explore each of these new pilot hubs here: