How it began

Restore Community started life as a shop on Debden Broadway in 2012 providing a place where people could come for help, to learn a skill but also a sense of community.

Restore Community started life as a shop on Debden Broadway in 2012 providing a place where people could come for help, to learn a skill but also a sense of community.

The space was used to meet the needs of the community be it whether to meet as a knitting group, help with writing a CV or to combat loneliness and meet with people and have a cup of tea, the purpose of the shop was to meet the needs of the community as well as help them to move on with their lives.

Due to the success of the project in 2016 we were invited by Loughton Town Council to start a community garden in Loughton, this has developed into a project that strengthens the community as local residents work together on a project that benefits local people.

We had a presence on the Broadway for 6 years but in 2018 we made the tough decision to close it down, it was at that point the Council offered the lease on the Community Centre at Oakwood Hill Estate one of the most deprived areas in the Loughton / Debden area. We felt that strategically this was a move that would give us the opportunity to have a real impact in that area of the community as we were already delivering Noah’s Ark on the estate and a culture of the residents volunteering to deliver the project had proved successful. 

Our presence on the estate has gone from strength to strength providing projects locally that meet the needs of a community that is often overlooked.

The projects that we deliver at Oakwood Hill have gone on to provide a model for those that we have made available at our other locations in Enfield, Epping, Woodford, Winchmore Hill and other venues in Loughton.