2. Create

Create a welcoming space and help people find it

One of the most important things a hub can do is help families connect with each other. When people feel connected and part of a community, they feel safer and have a sense of belonging. This increases social cohesion at the local level.

It’s important to create a hub space that encourages people to relax and connect. A hub can be like a ‘home away from home’ – where people can meet together, make friends, seek help, learn and engage in fun social activities. Once you have the space ready, it’s important to make it easy for people to find. Schools can be difficult places to navigate, especially for first time visitors.

If your hub is not visible from the main entrance and there are no clear signs to help people find it, this could be a barrier to them visiting. Remember, the hub will change over time to reflect the people who use it, so the space doesn’t have to be perfect from the start.

Rydamere Public School Hub knitting helps women connect across cultures.

What works, in our experience, is a space that…

  • welcomes everyone
  • is informal and relaxed
  • is child and family friendly
  • feels safe
  • is a somewhere people feel like they belong
  • supports participation and interactions
  • is personalised to the needs of local families
  • has culturally sensitive and inclusive spaces
  • families have a sense of ownership about because they’ve contributed
    to it in some way
  • respects diversity
  • has a mix of private and shared areas, and
  • has spaces and furniture that can be used for different purposes, for example: a large table (or group of tables) that can be used for craft activities, adult education classes, holding meetings and workshops, or as an informal dining table.

To help people find a hub

  • CHA will arrange for a sign to be placed at the front of your school.
  • Arrange for a sign on the outside wall and/or the door of your hub.r
  • Ask your school to add paint a coloured line along the ground leading
    to your hub.


Dallas Brooks Community Hub

“When thinking about how to set up the space, check in with the school about what is available and your budget. Always also think about your past contacts, business associates or friends who may be in a position to donate unwanted furniture and equipment that could be used in the hub.”

It’s not just about decorating the walls; it’s about what’s within those four walls and how people feel when they enter the room.

Make sure people working in the school’s front office know how to direct people to the hub and always have copies of the hub timetable to give to parents.

First impressions count, so design your community hub signage to give people a positive impression of what they’ll find inside your hub.