We asked Jean some quick fire questions around the community centre and how the funding will help.
1. Why did you apply for the engage with your community awards?
Due to funding cuts, Tameside MBC were going to close Werneth House, a facility for the over 60s. As volunteers for the centre, we decided this was not going to happen and sought permission to run it as an ‘All Age Community Centre’. It is now a lively, vibrant centre at the heart of our community and has brought our village back to life. A constant battle for funding means we can’t always offer the range of services and activities that we’d like. The engage with your community awards gave us the chance to apply for much needed support to help us expand our services.
2. What’s your involvement in the cause and how long have you been involved?
I attend and volunteer at the centre as well as helping to raise money for it. I have had the privilege of Chairing the Committee since it started in October 2011. My main contribution is to raise enthusiasm and sufficient funding for this project so that we can keep running this valuable and vital facility.
3. What will the money be spent on?
Thanks to the engage with your community funding, we’ll now be able to upgrade the kitchen and reintroduce the weekly Luncheon Club where housebound, elderly residents can come to enjoy a meal and each other’s company. We also want to get more teenagers from the village into the centre so funding would allow us to provide extra resources for this age group.
4. How would you sum the project up in a sentence?
The aim of the project is to increase what is on offer at the centre, involve more people from across the village, increase the diversity of members and provide a resource which will benefit more of the community as a result.
5. Any highlights from working with the cause?
A particular highlight was holding Jubilee celebrations last year, it brought the whole community together and was great fun. The biggest highlight however, would be securing the long-term future of the centre. At the moment we’re waiting to hear if the council will keep funding it. If not we’ll work as hard as we can to raise the funds ourselves.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone who’s applying for community funding?
Go for it, voluntary projects require as much funding as they can get and fundraising can only go so far. Community funding from things like the engage with your community awards can have a really positive impact.
7. Are you looking for any volunteers? If so, how could they help you?
We are lucky enough to have a group of very dedicated volunteers who help with a number of things. However, as we look to increase the amount of activity we’ll need more people to help out. In particular we need some younger volunteers.
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