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Justice and Society Research Centre

Main Contact: Jane Dominey

This report was commissioned by Working Links and funded jointly by Working Links and the Centre for Community, Gender and Social Justice (CCGSJ).

Community hubs are places where agencies (including the Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)) share premises and other facilities, pooling resources to offer a holistic service.  The agencies represented at a community hub will typically include those addressing problems such as housing, drugs, alcohol and unemployment.  The intention of the community hub approach is that CRC service users benefit from this multi-agency service while meeting the formal reporting requirements of their order or licence.  Some community hubs provide services to the public (not exclusively to CRC service users) and provide help beyond the end of a period of statutory supervision.

The study found community hubs that are appreciated, by staff and service users, for delivering a local service with access to specialist providers in a welcoming environment.  One service user described how the community hub approach worked for her:

‘It’s nice.  You got them all in the one room and they’re available.  You’re not in an official surrounding, ringing up to access an appointment with these services. That kind of makes it further in the distance and harder to reach. Whereas, here, they’re all there and it’s all in the one room and you can hopscotch from one desk to the other.  And, when I leave, I feel like I’ve achieved something- “I’ve got stuff done today!”’