The Hub on the Green is an amazing, magical place at 8 Cathedral Close, Exeter. It is a Community Hub run by Joey Lee and the doors opened in October 2011.
Joey first started her work in ground level projects with a community cafe in Cullompton, Devon in 2009. It was inside a Devon Doctors’ practice – one of only a handful nationwide.
Joey found running a successful community hub extremely rewarding. The cafe was home to all manner of events and became a sanctuary for local people.
after two and a half years when the self-care project the cafe was linked to, came to an end and Joey handed the cafe over to a local businesswoman. She looked to build on what she had learnt because experience had taught her that the model worked.
If you provide a wonderful place, supportive and friendly, people will share skills, ideas and their time – and magic happens
She saw that if you provide a wonderful place to be, with support for people then they come, they bring themselves and their skills and they share (their ideas, their time, their expertise) and support others. This brings people together and builds a community – and from that all sorts of magic happens.
The Amazing Hub on Exeter’s Cathedral Green
Joey now sought a larger and more versatile space where people could share, learn, be inspired, volunteer, give and enjoy being a part of something.
And when she found the Medieval Hall at 8, Cathedral Close, she knew that she had found the perfect spot. She called this place The Hub on the Green.
It did actually take her a while to come up with the name. The hall is right on the Cathedral Green – hence the Green and Hub because it is a hub of community activity.
Joey relates that it was originally going to be the Snug on the Green until someone told her a snug was the smoking room in a pub!
Community In Exeter City Centre
Every day we see the positive impact of the hub on the lives of the people who use it and on the wider community network that we are part of.
The hub offers people support, a space to try out new ideas, an extra pair of hands, friendship, a place to bring your packed lunch and even a loo on the ground floor in the city centre (really handy when you have to push a buggy or struggle with stairs).
All the individuals and groups who use the hub are supporting the hub too. And by doing that they support Joey.
The philosophy of the Hub is to work alongside other individuals and groups in the Exeter area rather than in competition with them.
Often, the Hub becomes a home for groups or individuals who need a base for their project, that is well looked after and facilitated.
It is not easy to sum up the Hub as so many good things happen there and Joey is also always helping people to make links around the community.
The hub is currently home to more than 30 groups including
- A local Organic Vegetables Order and Collect scheme
- Magic Carpet Community Choir
- Bumps & Babes
- Babychino from Natural Nursery
- Exeter Baking Club
- University groups
- Craft Fairs
- Baby Fairs
- Yoga, Tai Chi
- The Brownies
- Drawing classes
- WEA courses
- Writing Cafe
- Knitting Group
- Crafting Group
- Lazy Daisy Active Birthing Classes
- Cake & Make Fair
- The Exeter Pregnancy and Baby Fair
and there is lots more planned for the future.
The Hub on the Green can be hired for a private party, meeting or event – just call and speak to Joey for rates and availability.
On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday noon until 1.30, there is a pop up cafe where you can come in for an excellent mug of real coffee, tea or herb tea with a warm welcome and plenty of chat. Many people visit just to see the wonderful carved medieval ceiling dating back to the 1400s.
A West Country, Exeter Girl!
Joey was born in Exeter. She moved away for a total 13 years – four years whilst at University – then returned to do her teaching qualification at Exeter University. She left again for nine years to work in primary schools in London, Hertfordshire and Southampton and but returned home to Exeter after her travels.
She loves to run the community project in her own community because that’s what works best works.
It is the community I know and love and it makes complete sense for the hub to be in my community.
I would like the Hub to continue to be an important part of people's lives, supporting people and promoting well-being. It is important that we are well linked into the amazing community initiative network in Exeter.
I am really excited about the project we are working on with Exeter CVS, Double Elephant, Organic Arts & Magic Carpet looking at mental health issues and I am looking forward to building the project with The Devon Grapevine and Devon United Women on an international food project. I am not afraid to ask people to get involved and to find their talent. That's what makes it an exciting place.
Royalty And South West Local Celebrities
Joey’s work given her the opportunity to have many meetings with HRH The Prince of Wales. She says those meetings are fabulous and his visits create a real buzz but at the same time are fleeting.
But also Joey observes that just as important are the Hub’s local celebrities. People like Sparkly Sonia who throws herself into all things creative in the community, Arabella Greatorex who is all things baby, Penny Ritson who is the organic vegetable guru and Joey’s mum, Rachel, who bakes like a trooper every month for the cake fair creating fantastic goodies to raise funds for the Hub.
The Hub on the Green is all about local. It supports local people and local groups and businesses.
Joey has found that the best way of letting people know about the Hub, is face-to-face. She loves to spend time with people. It’s through talking to people that ideas come to life, things happen, progress is made and laughs are had. Joey uses social media a lot too – Facebook, Twitter and her blog so people can keep up to date with what’s going on at the Hub. But she firmly believes it is only there as back up to meeting people face-to-face. She celebrates the value of computers but knows that it is human interaction and feeling part of something successful, however small, that is often the key to happiness
Out And About In Devon
Joey loves Exeter.
There is always something going on and I live right in the centre so it is easy for us to get out and about. Sometimes my daughter and I will hear something, grab our keys and hunt down the excitement. I love festivals. It doesn't matter whether is is a tiny festival in the park or a great big music festival. If there is tea, beer, music and somewhere to sit where you can watch the world buzz around me, I am happy.
I also love the naff caff at Exmouth. It's called Harbour View really but we call it the naff caff. My daughter and I take Rummikub and we can sit for hours with endless Horlicks and ham, egg and chips.
I love St Ives. My sister and I have been going on holiday there together for nearly 20 years - every Easter. We started going at University and with just four of us and now there are up to nineteen as family and extended family come.
Visit the Hub at 8 Cathedral Close, email joey on firstname.lastname@example.org. For the latest events and activities see the Hub’s Blog and Calendar