Connecting Communities

We want to help individuals connect with their communities by highlighting organisations and activities throughout the North East

We want to help anybody in the North East who feels lonely or isolated to find the support that they require.

With this in mind, we have featured below two fantastic hubs in the community which help support, advise and entertain the local people of the North East. These centres all provide exceptional facilities for a wide range of different people from all sorts of backgrounds. These are just a few of the brilliant places available in the region, and we are keen to continue expanding this list.

Below, you can find out more about two great places in the North East, with information on where they’re located and how to get there using the Arriva bus network. We’ve even included helpful links for each of the locations, in case you require further information.

Acklam Library and Community Hub


For more than half a century, Acklam Library and Community Hub has been at the heart of local activity, providing a haven for bookworms, history buffs and young people. Providing access to library services as well as community groups and a wide range of classes, the hub has become integral to local life.

With comprehensive Wi-Fi connectivity and a team of dedicated staff, Acklam Library & Community Hub provides a series of classes and activity groups to help everyone make the most of the web. From the Online Family History class, where you can trace back your family tree, to Tai Chi, where you can find inner peace, strength and balance - there really is a whole host of activities to enjoy.

Perfect for local people who wish to meet like-minded others and make new friends, there are also slow-paced activities with an emphasis on socialising. Reading Group and Knit & Natter have both been created to bring local people together to bond over shared interests and a cup of tea or two.

Find it on Google Maps: Acklam Library and Community Hub

Find out more on the website: Acklam Library and Community Hub

Catch the bus: 17 Middlesbrough to Ingleby Barwick/Yarm | 17A Middlesbrough to Stockton

Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art


Connected to Teesside University, the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) is more than just a gallery for artists to showcase their talents; it has a civic agenda to bring people together, connect society and help create a better world. With exhibitions tackling important and difficult subjects such as housing, migration, inequality, regeneration and healthcare, MIMA encourages all visitors to think about the world we share in a different light and from a different perspective.

It is this intriguing and responsible approach to curation that has led to a unique collection of exhibitions and showcases – with a strong community focus and a dedication to the life of local people.

One of the most interesting sessions organised by MIMA is Community Day, held every Thursday, when everyone is welcome to come and enjoy a unique array of activities. Alongside a Community Lunch (which is completely free of charge), attendees can enjoy Community Cloth, Creative Age, the Community Garden and much more.

Find it on Google Maps: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Find out more on the website: Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

Catch the bus: Sapphire 5A Middlesbrough to Skelton

U3A (The University of the Third Age)


The U3A (The University of the Third Age) runs several activity groups in the North East, dedicated to inspiring retirement-aged locals. The groups cover a range of topics, and are great for people looking to learn a new skill, enhance their knowledge or meet new friends. Discover if you have a local U3A activity group with our helpful table below.

Please note – the information listed is for guidance only, and we’d recommend visiting the website of the group you wish to attend for group-specific information, such as rules of attendance and up-to-date location information.

We hope the above has helped you find a regional class, activity centre or support group to help you, and has provided all the information you require.

We’re keen to continue adding to this list of brilliant community groups and arts centres, with more fantastic places throughout the North East. If you’re a member of a great community group in the North East and want us to know about it, please contact us on [email protected].

To find out more about loneliness and social isolation, head back to our main feature page, here.

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