I caught up with Simon on Friday and chatted to him about the Outrageous Hub while sat in a comfy deck chair next to a garden shed, all inside the spacious and open plan building situated alongside Lancaster Canal. The Outrageous Hub opened its doors in April but is still in its very early days. What was made very clear when talking to Simon was that this social enterprise is very much based upon the individual and their needs.
Outrageous Ambition states on their website that:
‘Outrageous Ambition vision is to enable disabled people to live rich rewarding lives by introducing them to new activities and opportunities that help to break down social barriers, challenges preconceptions around disability and build community cohesion.’
The enterprise very much hopes to bring the whole community together. People accessing and using the Hub will include those individuals with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, individuals who have Autism as well as those who are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Their Mission statement is:
‘To create a space for innovation from which it is possible to develop an inclusive enterprise which forms an integral part of the community, creates employment and is financially sustainable.’
The aim of Outrageous Ambition is to create an uplifting space that will inspire those who use the space to really enjoy life. The enterprise most certainly is situated in an innovative environment which enables its users to use social enterprise as a model to deliver social and environmental change. The website continues to state:
‘We use the physical space of the hub to challenge the assumption that vulnerable and sensitive people are happy living their lives in tired, depressing builds.’
They continue to add:
‘Moving away from a tired, depressing public sector building with posters on the wall and dated furniture to a exciting environment, full of colour and creativity.’
While I sat in the space on Friday I most certainly felt calm and creative. The space will be of multi-use including areas for making items such as jewelry, cards and here will also be a cafe area as well as groups who will deliver web site design. All roles within the Hub will be centred around the individual and their capabilities and interests. They will do what they wish to do, not what someone tells them to do, the space will be theirs.
Simon believes that;
‘a warm, creative, quality environment we can inspire enterprise and innovation as people respond positively to an environment which respects them, excites them and encourages them.’
The Hub most importantly is a place that is inclusive and where everybody’s opinion matters.
‘We want to shake the boat on the standard practices of hoarding profits and only making individuals at the top of the pyramid richer, we want to be able to go to bed each night knowing that the day’s work has made the world a slightly better place.’
Simon ended by telling that for a lot of the people who access the Hub they never had a reason to get out of bed in the morning. For many they can’t access work or are given work that is not appropriate. At the Hub everyone who wants to work or volunteer will be given a role and a reason to get up in the morning.