Chellaston Community Association – who are we?
This month provides the Trustees of the Association with the opportunity to tell you a little about the role of Chellaston Community Association (CCA) and the Community Centre on Barleycroft adjacent to the library. In the early 1980’s the Association was formed with the key objective being to build a Community Centre. With a growing population from housing developments in east and west Chellaston a Community Centre was seen as an ideal venue for many leisure activities along with the availability to hire out to individuals within Chellaston and the surrounding area.
Achieving charitable status in 1984 was essential to our fundraising initiative and together with grant funding support from the local authority and some interest free financing the Association was able to oversee the building of the Centre which was opened in September 1988, nearly 30 years ago. As a charity the Association must work to strict guidelines and when Chellaston experienced difficulties with potential gypsy sites, traffic issues and the major expansion of building developments the Chellaston Residents Association (CRA) was formed to actively campaign on issues such as these. We work alongside the CRA as well as other organisations in the interest of Chellaston but are impartial with the main task being to oversee the Management of Chellaston Community Centre through the annually elected Trustees (Committee). Incidentally all residents of Chellaston over 18 years of age are automatically members of the Association.
The Centre is self financing apart from some welcome maintenance and repair assistance from the local authority. Whilst the Centre was extended in 2001 with funding provided by housing developments, the age of the building means that constant refurbishment is needed which can only be achieved through Centre profitability and possible grant opportunities. The facilities are in constant demand and at certain times oversubscribed such that we are unable to bring new activities to the Centre for the benefit of residents. The Trustees are actively pursuing opportunities to extend the Centre in some way which will allow more groups to access the building especially during the daytime and early evening. Financing of any expansion of the Centre requires significant funding which we believe is only achievable through any funding allocations from new housing developments and grants. Unfortunately some of the housing developments fall outside the City boundary such that Chellaston does not qualify for this funding despite the fact that these future residents will be looking for leisure activities within our area.
The Trustees key aim is to maintain the hiring of the Centre at an affordable level so as to benefit our many residents who use the facility either independently or through the various group activities which take place. Our income is however limited by this and at the same time our costs are increasing due to the planned cessation of all local authority assistance with regard to maintenance and repair of the Centre. We have been successful in recent times with obtaining small grants which has contributed to some of the improvements made to the Centre however it is recognised that a significant investment is needed in the future to not only extend the Centre but also to modernise a number of areas within the building.
The planned housing development on Infinity Parkway (Holmleigh Way) will see an allocation of funds towards a new extension to the Community Centre however this will not materialise until the 150 houses are completed and as you may have noticed this land still remains as a green field. The Trustees therefore look to any ideas as well as sources of funding which would help to raise monies towards your Community Centre and any assistance with this would be most welcome.
Finally the Association needs to ensure that the good work undertaken by the Trustees over the past 3 years in improving the condition of the building as well as financial stability is maintained to avoid the Centre falling in to disrepair and closure. Volunteers, new committee members as well as continued patronage in hiring the Centre for groups or individual parties/events is only way forward to ensuring that Chellaston has a centrally based community facility. If you would like to assist we can be contacted on 07895386433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.