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How Huddersfield restaurant Med One is helping community sharing project

Lebanese restaurant joins Comoodle scheme

Mark Finch, project co-ordinator for Community Catalysts, one of several organisations using space provided by restaurant Med One in Westgate, Huddersfield, as part of the Comoodle online platform helping community groups to share "stuff, space and skills"

A restaurant in the heart of Huddersfield has opened its doors to support a “community sharing” project.

Med One in Westgate has signed up to Comoodle, an online platform enabling organisations to share “stuff, space and skills” in a spirit of collaboration.

Groups have already taken up the Lebanese restaurant’s offer of its upstairs meeting room. They include Community Catalysts, a social enterprise which offers health and well-being to people of all ages.

Community Catalysts project co-ordinator Mark Finch said having the Med One space from which to deliver activities had been great, adding: “We have been able to link into the community with far greater ease and at no cost thanks to Comoodle. It has opened doors that were otherwise closed to our groups.

“Resources are tight and we need to help ourselves to help each other. There must be so many rooms in towns that aren’t being used and that’s a waste.”

Med One on Westgate, Huddersfield.

Another user of Med One’s space is risk management specialists Horizon Risk Consultancy, which used it to deliver free safety training to Marsden Community Trust and the Denby Dale Centre.

Horizon director Sandy Lu said: “One of the biggest challenges for any business is raising your profile. By offering free training through Comoodle, I have been able to promote Horizon’s services and generate useful leads. I’m continuing to use Comoodle to roll out other courses now too.”

Med One’s room is set aside as an office in the evenings for the Jane Khalaf Fund, a campaign to help raise awareness of the problem of drink spiking. Baron Hiskello, of the fund, said: “Our anti-spiking activities mainly take place in the evening so during the day this room sits empty.

“It just makes sense to let groups borrow the room for worthwhile causes. It barely costs the business anything but it promotes the Jane Khalaf Fund and also lets people know about the restaurant. Quite a few people have said they had never been here before but now they are thinking about coming for a meal.”

Jane Khalaf

The room’s users also include a Lego group supported by South West Yorkshire Partnerships NHS Trust. Rebecca Thornton, a speech and language therapist with the trust, said: “When I heard about this space share through Comoodle, I knew it would reduce our waiting list for our Lego Club.

“Having an established group enables us to quickly allocate resources and we have been able to help the group out with Lego and advise them on how to get more to help them grow and develop.”

Comoodle is a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2014 Mayors Challenge, a competition to inspire bold and creative ideas that will improve people’s lives and have the potential to spread to other areas.

Building owners and businesses can put any type of available space on Comoodle – from advertising in a shop window to sports pitches or entire venues. Spaces can be offered for free or for a small charge or donation to charity.

Go to www.comoodle.com

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