Supporting your Community Centre – an early warning from the Chair of Trustees
Chellaston Community Association (CCA) was established in 1982 in Chellaston, with the key aim of raising funds to build a Community Centre for residents of Chellaston and the surrounding neighbourhood.
Charity status was obtained in 1983 and the building eventually opened in 1988 through an extensive fundraising campaign.
The premises sit on land owned by Derby City Council and therefore the CCA is the tenant and leaseholder.
The Trustees of the CCA oversee the management and operation of the Centre, which is self-funded through hire revenues. We operate with 6 hours per week of paid employment and the remaining work is undertaken by volunteers.
Over many years the Centre has seen its ups and downs, mainly due to a lack of volunteers to effectively manage the facility, which put the viability of the Centre in question.
In 2013, this situation once again raised its head, and an extraordinary general meeting was called resulting in an emergency committee being formed.
Ten years on, some of this committee remain and have steadied the ship with major improvements to the facilities, with over 20 regular hirers in operation, either daily or weekly, and procedures and processes in place to manage the operation successfully and safely. Financially, we remain healthy and are currently embarking on a building expansion programme to meet a continuing demand for hire space.
So, what is the problem?
Well, this emergency team formed in 2013 now consists of a small group of septuagenarians who will no doubt be standing down sooner rather than later.
The team has tried, on numerous occasions, to recruit new Trustees onto the Committee with little success, despite a population of over 12000 residents in this area.
So, what will happen?
Without a succession plan in place and given that many of the current Trustees wish to retire, the Association will fold along with its Charity status and the termination of the lease. This will result in the subsequent closure of the Centre until such time as the authority can re-instate the building with a new leaseholder. This will ultimately impact on all hirers and users.
Will the Centre operate the same as now?
This will depend on who the new leaseholder is. It could be a business, like some other Centres, with an established business operation having priority and spare capacity hired out to groups and organisations. This is very different to how we operate today, which is community interest based.
How can you help address these concerns?
We need to attract new committee members now whilst the current expertise remains to ensure a successful transfer of the knowhow gained by the Trustees. These are volunteer roles, many not time consuming, but rewarding knowing you will continue to maintain the livelihood of this much valued facility.
You can get in touch today if you can offer your help by contacting Joyce on 07895386433, or via email@example.com
Our AGM will take place on Saturday 11th November 2023 at 10am when we will review the past 12 months’ performance and elect a new committee. This meeting is traditionally poorly attended with very few newcomers and the expectation that things will continue as before. Things, however, must change to prevent the potential closure of this much used Community Centre. This is an early warning to residents, especially those of you that use the facility in some way such as pre-school, clinic, support groups, fitness, guiding, worship, or indeed, private hire.
The Centre is a valuable Chellaston asset – please help to ensure it continues to thrive.
Chair of Trustees
Chellaston Community Association