Sustaining a community organisation is a challenge at the best of times, but what happens when a group loses not only almost half of its income, but also a long-standing member of staff whose tireless efforts over years have made the organisation what it is today?
That’s the dilemma facing The Centre @ Halton, Halton village’s community centre and hub community activity. Maureen Richardson, the centre’s manager for many years, is retiring for a well-earned rest. Unfortunately it has coincided with one of the Centre’s biggest venue hirers moving to alternative premises.
The drop in funding means that, certainly at the moment, a new centre manager cannot be recruited. Going into a new year knowing that so much needs to be replaced is a position nobody running an organisation will envy! But the trustees, staff, and volunteers at The Centre @ Halton have a plan and have launched their ‘Heart of the Community’ appeal. You don’t have to be resident in Halton to use the facilities there, and you don’t need to be a resident to help them with their current challenge.
You could use the Coffee Shop, which earns the centre a really good income, with profits being donated back into the Centre to support the work that they do. Why not take a trip out to Halton to buy a coffee and a piece of cake, grab the grand/kids a biscuit or lollipop or meet a friend for lunch?
You could hire some space. Perhaps you have a birthday party or other celebration coming up, maybe you fancy running a photography course, or a gymnastics session but haven’t found the space. Speak with the centre and see what’s available.
You could give your time: all community groups rely on the time and dedication of volunteers. Whether it is a small but still important contribution of making a cake or a larger time contribution of washing up after Soup and a Song or serving food at Luncheon Club or even coordinating one of the groups. It could be for half an hour every other week, it could be up to 2 hours every week, it all helps keep things going.
Even checking out what The Centre @ Halton has to offer just once can be a huge help. If you want to know more you can contact them via their website www.haltoncentre.org.