The newly formed management steering committee for Freshbrook Community Centre is holding a General Meeting on Wednesday 9 December, 7pm at Freshbrook Church, Uxbridge Roato formally adopt a constitution before applying for charitable status.
A good response from residents is needed at the meeting. Once the constitution is adopted it will take several weeks before Charity Commission approval is granted. The steering committee hopes the building can reopen by March or April.
The community centre was shut in September when the Freshbrook Village Group management committee lost charity status after failing to submit accounts. Since then, residents, Swindon council officers and councillors have worked together to find a way forward to ensure the building can again be used by community organisations.
Steering committee chair Stephanie Bird said the people who stepped forward at a crisis meeting in October have been on a steep learning curve. “Sub-committees have been set up and we have a large number of volunteers, but more are always welcome and needed. We will also need lots of help in getting the building up to scratch so we’d like to hear from anyone who has a skill we could use.
“Our vision is for it to be the centre of the community, with as many activities and opportunities as possible for all ages. We want a centre that is bright, lively and well maintained, a centre the community will be proud of, with people queuing up to use it.
“We do hope previous users will return but we also want to appeal to a whole host of others. As we are a new group, to be called Freshbrook Community Centre without any ties to the old Freshbrook management group we don’t think there will be any problems with the charity commission.”
Tina Mackie, joint organiser of the Wednesday community cafe at the centre, currently based in Freshbrook Church, said, “the community miss us. Although we are very lucky and appreciative of the church’s offer to let us use their premises, it’s a little too far for many of our customers to walk; our weekly takings have reduced by half.
Jenny Sullivan who ran Sullivan School of Dance at the community centre since 1981, said, “we were very sad when it was closed, but we are very grateful to Millbrook Primary School for accommodating us. In terms of where we’ll be next year, we’ll have to see what the future brings.”
To volunteer with the new Freshbrook Community Centre management or enquire about booking space, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured above, front from left, Nicola Brown, joint secretary, Stephanie Bird, chair, Emma Tanner, joint secretary. Back, Kat Sandell, Sally Hannon, Stan Frost, Charlie Dyer, Dave Davison and Sue Butler