Ochiltree Community Hub (OCH) is a community owned organisation established with the aim of reducing social isolation and improving health and wellbeing in Ochiltree, East Ayrshire. The organisation operates a purpose built community centre building, with meeting rooms, a multipurpose sports hall, and café, offering a range of events and activities to the local community.
The organisation grew from local concern about the potential closure of the local library and existing community centre in the village in 2013. The OCH was established as a charity to undertake an asset transfer of land from the local authority into community hands, allowing local people to work towards the creation of a new Hub building. Over a number of years, the OCH was successful in raising funding to commission a design team to develop plans, and eventually construction of a new building, opened in 2019.
As the community is a living and breathing thing the Hub focuses on meeting the needs of the community in the moment. The Hub works closely with the Community Council, the Community Action Plan and other organisations outside of the community such as the Council and NHS. The Hub has been part of the latest flu vaccinations project and providing free fall prevention classes.
Kirsty Fowler, Hub Manager - Ochiltree Community Hub
Fundraising was key to the success of the OCH and the delivery of the new Hub building. The charity received a range of funding, totalling more than £1.8m to support development of the building and staff costs during the initial years of operation. Local community residents can become members of the organisation, and a mixture of volunteer positions and paid staff roles support everyday operations.
Header image: Photo by Ochiltree Community Hub