A GROUP of friends in Scotland were all struggling with the same work and training challenges and didn’t want to let their talents to go to waste, so they set up the Leuchars Station Co-Working Hub.
“We wanted to provide an office on the base that non-serving members of the Armed Forces community could use as a place to work from,” explained Army spouse Sarah Stone. “It’s a professional environment where members can feel safe, supported and able to unlock their talents.
“It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any qualifications or skills, we’ll help you get them.”
Other than being on a base, the hub is nothing to do with the military.
“There’s so much about our lives which revolves around the military that we wanted to create a place where spouses like us can work, start a business, find jobs and be encouraged to fulfil their dreams. We’ve worked hard to make it feel as welcoming as possible,” said Sarah.
Staff at Leuchars Station have been supportive, offering a building to use and helping to furnish it. Since opening a year ago, the response has been fantastic. One spouse said: “I base myself at the hub most days. It’s a great opportunity for me to escape the dining table at home.
“The hub allows me to benefit from the flexible working practice combined with the daily interaction of a traditional workplace.”
Sarah added: “Everyone who uses the hub says it’s helped them make friends and reduced loneliness and isolation. Just being together and sharing networks and resources has been hugely powerful.”
The hub has also been helping to open doors with local communities and employers that find it difficult to engage with the military community.
“We’re members of the Scottish Federation of Small Businesses, Fife Chamber of Commerce and the St Andrews Business Club and we’ve found those relationships invaluable. It helps build links between the military and civilian population,” said Sarah.
Sarah’s dream is to open a hub in every military base: “How amazing would it be if you knew that when you moved, there would be an office where you could go to work and a professional, local network that you could tap into that would help you find a job or clients for your business?
“We want to turn military bases into places that are full of entrepreneurs, with a thriving freelance skills pool which local businesses and employers can tap into.”
Follow Leuchars Station Co-Working Hub at facebook.com/leucharscoworking
Sarah is our autumn Community Champion and wins a tablet courtesy of DXC Technology.
Do you have a person who works hard to improve Army family life in your area? To nominate them for this award, email email@example.com with ‘Community Champion’ in the subject line and a summary – no more than 300 words – of why you think they should win. The winner’s story will be published in Army&You and we’ll share the others on this website.