We're Building Community
We believe in inclusion and want to serve the wider community as well as its young people to bridge the gap and help them feel more connected. We want to strengthen residents’ sense of belonging by creating a hub that is run by the local community for the local community.
Lydney Hub was founded in 2017 by residents, united in a common effort to provide better facilities and opportunities for local people following the report of further housing developments being given the go ahead in Lydney.
Around that time a documentary called ‘Generation Screwed’ aired on BBC Three featuring a young man from Lydney who highlighted an issue in the town with disengaged youth. The community group realised that since the closure of the youth café due to lack of funding in 2015, there had been no other non-sport related activities or events for young people and so particular emphasis was placed on creating non-sport, creative activities to generate a sense of community and belonging.
Volunteers from the group rallied to rebrand the existing ping pong club that had been set up at Lydney Community Centre to the ‘much needed’ Lydney Youth Hub in February 2019, which over a year has gone from just 4 members to an average of 48 young people in attendance each week. But their home at Lydney Community Centre was only meant to be temporary as the Young People looked for a space that they could call their own.
Lydney Hub successfully secured a building in late 2019 from which they could run a dedicated youth centre and after obtaining full charity status, began a partnership with Hips Social to make the space sustainable and avoid having to depend fully on charitable donations in the future.
The next stage of the project is to begin renovations on the dedicated youth space which will be inclusive of input from the young people and will be steered by Lydney Youth Hub to ensure its co-designed and meets the needs and expectations of those using it.
The building will be multifunctional with workshop and art space, available to use by other community groups, charities and business. Lydney Hub are also currently exploring the possibility of hotdesking for those who are self-employed in the area and would like to work in a community environment.
Meet our Volunteers
Emily Timmins, Founder, Trustee & Lead Youth Worker
Emily started her first business at just 24 years old. Winning ‘Best Digital Startup’ her media company won several awards and received two rounds of investment before being sold this year.
Emily founded Lydney Hub to help residents strengthen their relationship with their community and became specifically interested in how disengagement implicated the lives of young people. She later set up Lydney Youth Hub to provide young people with a dedicated youth space where they could take part in informal activities as well as experience new opportunities.
Emily is an advocate for all young people and works in Tidenham as a Community Engagement Youth Worker.
She has also worked with Breathe Youth as a mentor, providing non-judgmental listening and support to young people aged 11-17.
Nigel Sargent, Trustee
Nigel has recently retired from full time employment having previously worked in the warehousing and distribution industry.
He was born in Lydney and has resided in the town for the last 30 years along with his wife and 2 daughters.
For 5 years Nigel was employed by the County Council as a part time youth worker, initially on a dedicated mobile unit visiting smaller villages in the Forest of Dean and later at Coleford Youth Centre.
“I love living in Lydney, it has much to offer but am aware of the many challenges it faces as it gets bigger. I feel Lydney Hub can play a vital role in providing important services to the community.”
Nigel is hoping that his previous work experience can assist Lydney Hub in some small way in fulfilling its role.
Jade Meadows, Trustee
Jade grew up in the Forrest of Dean and returned with her family 6 years ago.
Jade has worked as a project and programme manager in clinical trials and now in public health research. She has a special interest in access to healthcare and reducing health inequalities.
Jade was inspired by the amazing work that Lydney Hub does for the community and hopes to help support the continuation of their invaluable work.
Penny Hulbert, Chair & Trustee
Penny was born in Lydney and attended Whitecross School. Although she no longer lives in the town, she spent many years working in Lydney library and currently works in and around the town in her current role as Marketing and Engagement Lead in the Forest of Dean for Barnwood Trust, a Gloucestershire charity supporting people with disabilities and mental health challenges in Gloucestershire.
Penny has a particular interest in looking at ways of promoting inclusion, looking at ways to make welcoming spaces for visitors and residents to feel comfortable and safe and to feel that they are valued members of the community.
“I got involved with Lydney Hub because I’m really inspired by the passion of the team and how they are working so hard to show what a great place Lydney is. They have an exciting vision of how things can be in the future if we combine our efforts and enthusiasm to make it happen.”
Hannah Winman, Treasurer
Sarah Taylor, Executive Committee Member
Sarah Taylor Phillips lives in Lydney and is passionate about the town and the community. Sarah studied business and marketing at University and went to work in fmcg marketing on brands such as Clover and Quorn.
Sarah has worked in recruitment and headhunting, and cofounded a £5.5m interim start-up in Lydney in the mid 1990s. I see potential everywhere and I believe that
everyone can reach their potential.
I watched Generation Screwed in October 2017, and that’s when I became aware of Lydney Hub. I am excited to be helping them with their businesspartnership programme. So if you would like to come and partner with us, please email me.
Michelle Cutland, Safeguarding Lead & Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Michelle moved to live just outside Lydney in 2017 after a decade in Yorkshire, 8 years in Merseyside and 12 months in Uganda. She brought with her two children and a Husband who grew up in the Forest of Dean.
She works in the NHS as a Childrens Doctor with particular expertise in the field of safeguarding, child abuse and neglect. She is the lead consultant for the Paediatric sexual assault referral centre (the Bridge) that looks after children and young people of Gloucestershire and the wider south west region who have experienced sexual abuse.
Michelle is passionate about children's rights and ensuring children and young people are heard.
She joined the Hub in 2020 hoping that her skills mix could be used to compliment the rest of the amazing team to support and nurture the next generation of young people in Lydney.
Mary Bruce, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Jodie Niblett, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Olivia Armstrong, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Jack Savory-Tarlton, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Jack moved to Lydney from London near the end of 2022. He has a background in IT, Support Work and Play Work.
Jack has been a volunteer in the past, working with children and adults and wanted to try something new whilst also getting to know the local community at the same time, Lydney Youth Hub seemed like the perfect opportunity.
Pete Harper, Trustee
Pete joined Lydney Hub after being impressed with the youth work it had inspired in the town: "there is a definite increase in a sense of belonging amongst those using the youth club, hopefully this, and the motivation that Lydney youth can offer, will help community development long into the future".
He is looking forward to using his experience in community and youth initiatives in this new venture.
Pete has worked as a criminologist in several universities – "my interest was how communities can become resilient and how residents can work together to overcome social problems in their own neighbourhoods". He also has over a quarter of a century’s experience working in the third sector with a variety of different groups and communities.
Pete moved to Lydney in 2019, however worked in ‘The Old Severn Bridge Hotel’ over several summers in the 1980s!
Annamae Sullivan, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Louise Penny, Trustee & Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Nina Martin, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Nina is a very active person and loves to keep busy and take part in lots of Hobbies outside of her work!
During college she studied Musical Theatre and enjoy watching shows in her free time.
"I have taken part in lots of different voluntary roles over the years. I really enjoy helping others, being able to contribute and bring positivity to my community."
"I can’t wait to be a part of Lydney Youth Club and look forward to helping out in the sessions."
Gilbert Machado, Volunteer Youth Support Worker
Gilbert has been working with young people long enough to realize the importance of a continuous positive input. He enjoys encouraging young people to pursue their heartbeat, to use their minds and to promote self development.
"With a difficult background myself, it's not hard for me to be emphatic to the situations many young people have to face nowadays in order to achieve their dreams."
Gilbert has been a teacher, tutor and a mentor in different countries, cultures and languages, helping young people to get a better idea what they could want from their own life.
"I believe helping at Lydney Youth Hub is a fantastic way to give something back to this beautiful community."