Client Story

Firvale Community Hub

  • Location: Sheffield
  • Sector: Housing and Accommodation Advisory Services Community Services Employment, Education and Training Health Care and Social Care
  • Amount: £250k
  • Purpose: Building
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Meet Gulnaz
Growing up in Firvale and experienced firsthand the lack of support available to friends and family. As an economic migrant, her father along with other ex-steelworkers decided to set up something that really helped their community. After studying Applied Social Sciences at university, Gulnaz began a career in community development work but had always volunteered at the hub, and is now the CEO of Firvale Community Hub as well as a commissioner on the Independent Sheffield Race Equality Commission.

Key Fund invested £250k to Firvale Community Hub to cover building purchase costs.


Located amongst the 3% most deprived areas in the UK, Firvale Community Hub provides unemployment support, education and training, health and well-being services and community advocacy.

Working primarily with migrants from Eastern Europe and Muslim communities, promoting community cohesion, and is a founding member of the Sheffield Roma Network.

From a front room in the 1960s, to becoming the Pakistani Advice and Community Association in 2013; Firvale Community Hub was renamed in 2017 to reflect the increasing cultural diversity in the area.

The Challenge

With a very diverse community, there is often struggle gaining access to support or resources because of misunderstandings around cultures.

The Community Hub was run out of rented premises which restricted their expansion.

Key Fund has stood shoulder to shoulder with our hub and taken us to the next level.

Gulnaz – Firvale Community Hub

The Solution

Key Fund invested a £175,000 loan and £75,000 grant for the majority of the building purchase costs in 2019. This renovated former hotel, Gulnaz helped create a community centre. The hub now has a sustainable income stream, renting out offices in its building to the council.

Accredited to national standards with AQS in immigration advice and Matrix for information, advice and guidance, the Hub is also able to offer pathways to education and employment; with a staff team of 19 and 30 volunteers.

Language barriers and poor and cramped housing around transit communities were a major factor during Covid. The hub gave inroads to the local authority and public health bodies to access these communities.

The Feedback

“It’s been so amazing for the community to have this building. We’ve been able to direct our own projects and have ownership of them. It’s been inspirational, it’s been positive. We can make decisions and continue to expand our services, which are so needed – we’re very busy; there are queues outside.”

“With Key Fund, I feel like I’m talking to people who know you, and are there to help – they talk the language we talk. They have a belief in our organisation and have always helped, supported and guided us. The opportunities they give to local organisations is phenomenal.” Gulnaz, CEO


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