The Hub

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by The Hub's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from The Hub is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

CEO Clive Tuck
Working together for life
beyond disability
The Hub is a Yeovil-based community charity that supports
and empowers those with learning disabilities and autism
who are looking to lead full, active and meaningful
lives. The charity improves their chances of employment and
increases their ability to be independent through partnerships
with a variety of social enterprises and local organisations.
CEOCliveTuck tells
The Parliamentary Review
that the Hub is a
place to feel included, not isolated; a space where people can
be safe and independent while still experimenting with real-
world situations.
At the Hub, we provide support and training that empowers the lives of adults and
young people with learning disabilities and autism.
Our mission statement is “Working together for life beyond disability.” This filters
down through everything we do; our “yes, we can!” philosophy helps us to work
together with people to unleash their talent. We support the people we work with
to find that talent, in a safe and friendly environment – it’s really that simple, and
our process works.
Our vision and values
We want to see people with learning disabilities and autism enjoy equal access
to leisure, learning and development opportunities, supporting them all the way
through to employment.
»CEO: Clive Tuck
»Founded in 2010
»Located in Yeovil, Somerset
»Services: Support and
coaching that empowers
the lives of adults and
young people with learning
disabilities and autism
»No. of employees: 20
The Hub
Highlighting best practice
We achieve this by increasing the
independence and wellbeing of those
we work with through inclusive,
enjoyable social groups and a variety
of enrichment activities. We are
constantly looking to support more
and more individuals with learning
disabilities into paid employment,
by engaging with our thriving social
enterprises or working with local
employers through our supported
employment agency.
Core ethos
Our core ethos has three key strands,
which are:
»Autonomy and community, together:
The opportunities we create for
others form the foundation of
everything we do at the Hub
»The right to individuality: Our
personalised approach allows us to
focus on individual needs, wants and
aspirations as we continue to grow
»Uncompromised ambition: We look
beyond disabilities to help develop
aspirations beyond barriers
These strands inform and filter down
into everything we do at the Hub –
whether that’s a training session or the
way we talk about moving forward as
an organisation.
The Hub’s brand-new centre
The beauty of our 9,500 square-foot
warehouse, the Hub venue, lies on
the inside. Equipped with a vast and
diverse range of facilities for people
with learning disabilities and autism,
our brand-new building allows us to
deliver on our vision day in, day out.
We work with our trainees in the
Hub to deliver sessions in everything
from recycling and cooking to
serving customers and even a spot of
gardening. These vital skills that we
deliver to those we work with aren’t
just a series of people sitting down
giving talks in classrooms – at the Hub,
we teach and learn in a hands-on,
enjoyable manner.
This means there’s no such thing as a
“normal” day at the Hub. We work in
a number of ways with our trainees,
helping them to find meaningful
occupations and empowering them to
do more.
The political and economic
landscape for a charity like ours
In spite of the outstanding and tireless
work our excellent volunteers put in,
things aren’t always easy. Funding is
one particular issue not just for us, but
for charities across the UK – current
funding is being cut in real terms,
which in turn results in services for
adults with learning disabilities and
autism being cut. Local authority
services are not appropriately equipped
to deliver the support they should
Social enterprises are under-resourced,
and we are only continuing to see a
lack of available funding in the sector.
While government targets regarding
getting adults with autism and
disabilities into work are great markers
of movement in the right direction,
more can always be done.
Our “yes, we can!”
ethos drives everything
we do
This means
there’s no
such thing as
a “normal”
day at the
Hub. We work
in a number
of ways with
our trainees,
helping them
to find
them to
With all that in mind, this is still a great
time to be a community charity in the
UK. If we prepare ourselves for the
restructuring of local authority services
and ready ourselves for the sea change
that will come in the years ahead, our
excellent team and their brilliant work
will continue to drive us forward.
Technology and equipment is
One of the biggest challenges where
a lack of funding becomes an issue is
with equipment. When we experience
funding cuts, we do have to hold
back on new IT and office systems,
or not buy that new piece of catering
equipment that would continue to
deliver an outstanding experience for
our trainees.
In an ever-changing technological
world, it is so important to have
new systems and new equipment
at your disposal. Things like reliable
telecommunications, an advanced
website and comprehensive Wi-Fi
access can mean the difference
between an organisation like ours
thriving or failing.
Our aims – 2020 and beyond
The next few years are so critically
important for us. To have a concrete
set of targets that we look to reach in
the next few years, we have set out
three strategic aims. These are:
»Establishing a sustainable future
»Building a reputation for excellence
»Growing the charity
A sustainable future through financial
stability, corporate partnerships and
sponsorship strategies will allow us
to continue delivering the services
that matter to the people who need
them the most. We will be well
equipped to provide tangible benefits
through a variety of reinforced and
well-supported spokes, specifically
with regard to an effective supported
employment agency.
A reputation for excellence will come
through staff, stakeholder and trainee
satisfaction – which we will measure
through a variety of feedback metrics
– a clear structure and a consistent
approach that is universally agreed
across the charity.
While both of these points will support
the growth of our charity, this will also
require a significant amount of work
alone. By developing partnerships
with neighbouring county services,
expanding our capacity in the building
and hopefully forming a partnership
network with community-led services,
activity providers and commissioners
alike, we will be able to continue
delivering the excellent work we have
started to become renowned for.
enterprises are
resourced, and
we are only
continuing to
see a lack of
funding in the
Above: Collaboration
and interaction to foster
and develop valuable
Below: People with a
learning disability at
work in one of our social
enterprises – the Yeovil

This article was sponsored by The Hub. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development