One of the advantages of being MP for Camborne and Redruth is that I am able to visit a huge amount of brilliant and vibrant charities and community groups throughout the constituency whose work is invaluable to so many. There is a diverse and skilled group of charitable organisations in this part of Cornwall who either specialise in certain issues or bring together different community services under one roof and their amazing work often goes unsung.
A few weeks ago I visited All Saints Community Centre is Camborne who do a fantastic job in providing a base for a range of voluntary organisations to operate from. There are groups for the elderly, who provide meals and a social setting which I think is vital and following recent news it is clear more needs to be done to stop the elder generation becoming lonely. There are also youth groups and a host of different activities such as Yoga and Zumba on offer for people of any age which have really taken off in recent years. The Centre provides office space for some important groups such as AA and there are various services on offer to help those who have been unemployed and need some basic literacy and numeracy training. I was lucky enough to attend the tenth anniversary of the Centre a couple of years ago and it was great to catch up with such an asset to the community. The work of its community development co-ordinator, Treve James, should be commended.
There are other community groups that make up a vibrant network throughout the area. This summer I popped in to the Pengegon Community fun day which growths from strength to strength. It is a great example of a local community getting together to change their neighbourhood for the better and the ongoing work at Pengegon has really paid off with local residents now taking great pride in their area. Whilst All Saint’s provides some great utilities in Camborne, the Elms in Redruth offer a similar service and are the base for Cornwall Neighbourhoods for Change, or CN4C who do some fantastic work fostering social enterprise. There are also more specialist charities that offer a unique service such as Penhaligon’s Friends who offer crucial support to young people dealing with bereavement.
Tackling social breakdown and reviving our sense of community spirit is a difficult task but it is these groups who are at the fore. I believe strongly in the idea of the Big Society, but that also this idea of voluntary help in the community is nothing new and I have seen it all my life in Cornwall. What it does need is a committed group of volunteers and whilst the groups I meet are always on the lookout for more, we are fortunate to have some brilliant ones already.
George Eustice can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1 Trevenson Street, Camborne, Cornwall TR14 8JD or by telephone on 020 72197032.