Our project aim is designed to meet the needs of the surrounding area – this focuses on the social needs highlighted by the feasibility study, community needs assessment documents and Government data. These clearly highlight that the main social needs of the local community are in education, skills and training, most notably for children and young people.
The project’s primary goals are to address the needs across the locality by the provision of the following services and activities, which is provided as mix between those which will generate an income for the centre, and those which will support the needs of the community.
Young people’s activity clubs
Currently there are no young people’s clubs (such as Scouts, Brownies, church youth group) active in the area. These groups have expressed an interest during the feasibility study to create new groups in the area. These groups will help to engage the younger children and provide education and life skills.
Health and fitness activities
Charnwood Leisure Centre is located 2 miles away, and there are no health and fitness facilities within the locality. We would look to provide health and well-being classes including spin, yoga, Aikido, active gym, fitness sessions and dancing. Some of these groups contacted during the feasibility study stage have already expressed an interest in using a community facility. This area was identified as a desirable feature for the community centre in both the feasibility and community needs assessment reports.
Providing a counselling service for children and adults. This has been operated from Wysall House on Laburnham Way for the last 3 years, however with its closure from the end of 2016, we will be looking to restart this service from within the community centre.
The community centre would act as a hub providing a meeting venue for community groups including Haddon Way Residents Association, Shelthorpe Community Association, Neighbourhood Watch and local church groups.
Parent and baby group
We will be involving local mother and toddler groups to access the main hall to provide a social setting.
Computer and IT Hub
There is a clear need within parts of the community to access resources online which are otherwise unavailable. We will be applying for additional funds to provide computer equipment from revenue grants which will help provide computer and IT skills and training. This would also provide the opportunity for those without broadband access to gain access to information, in line with the Government Digital Strategy Action 15 and the approach to assist digital to gain digital capabilities.
We will provide the main hall as a facility for hiring out for engagements, anniversaries, retirement and other occasions to generate income for the centre. However there would be strict conditions for the use of the building to ensure neighbours are not affected.
Skills and training
We will be looking to forge links with local agencies including the county council in order to provide life skills such as job coaching and employment information.
Information highlighted by recent studies has shown that there is a need for debt advice. We hope to be able to set up a debt advice service which will run from the centre.
Several local self-employed businesses have expressed an interest in utilising a hot desk/meeting facility. We would devote part of the community centre to act as a business hub to provide these facilities.
We believe that the construction of a community centre can be self-sufficient by maximising the facilities for charging for some groups, which will then make the provision for serving the community’s other needs.