The Junction was established by the Hexthorpe Methodist Church – now known as The King’s Cross Church – in 1994, in an old butcher’s premises. A survey had been carried out in the community and people expressed the need for a community advice/drop-in centre. This was established in 61, Hexthorpe Road and a manager, Andy Ross, was appointed. A new manager, John Crawford, came in 1998. The work expanded and so in 2004, the Rising Sun public house opposite was also purchased. The main work of the Junction is now based there.
Hexthorpe is an ‘inner area’ of Doncaster; it is one of the most deprived areas in the country. It was originally an old medieval village and only grew with the coming of the railways in the latter part of the 19th century. Streets of terraced houses were built to house the railway workers, who were employed at the Plant Works. They produced world famous engines such as the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman. With the demise of the railways, there is now a multi-ethnic community. There are evident problems that are typical of an inner-city area.
For a number of years, there was a furniture scheme, where donated furniture was provided for those in need. People have come to the Junction for a variety of reasons.
To illustrate the extent of the Junction’s work, here are some figures from one of the annual reports (2010):
Enquiries dealt with – 1,218
Average daily drop in – 35
Issues dealt with included: benefits, bereavement, housing, crime, addiction (drugs and alcohol), health and mental health issues, harassment and bullying, form filling, relationships, prayer, domestic violence, child protection, unemployment, letter writing, showers, homelessness, work permit, CVs, education, food, debt, anti-social behaviour, violence, utility supplies, bogus callers, asylum.
The Hexpress, a community newspaper, was first published in 1989. It has always been delivered free to every household in Hexthorpe. Initially it was bi-monthly, but now is quarterly. It is under the auspices of the Junction. From its first issue it has proved to be a useful tool in keeping the Junction grounded within the community. Many issues of concern have been taken up in the Hexpress and often action followed. For example, there has been a growing concern over many years about the deterioration of the once famous Dell, inside the Hexthorpe Flatts Park. The Flatts, the local park, was highlighted in a fairly recent issue. A call was made for all those with a stake in the Flatts, including the local council, to form a group to address the concerns. From this came the formation of a now very active and effective Friends of Hexthorpe Flatts Park group.
The present manger is Lynn Petersen who was appointed in 2014. Lynn worked in the Probation Service for some 24 years, 22 of them in South Yorkshire. If you see Lynn around the area of the Junction, please make yourself known to her, or better still call in for a coffee.
For details of the present work see the Home Page.