By Sue Hardacre - 15th February 2014 6:00am
Quite recently one of the Community Centre A-Frames was daubed with paint which caused a spasm of anger in the Committee. As can happen sometimes in voluntary bodies, there was a sudden feeling that maybe no one appreciated them. However, On Friday 31st we had our very successful double film night, and the world steadied and got back to normal! The comments we received were very positive and much appreciated.
Though many older Tarvin residents who have used the Community Centre for decades may be aware of how the Centre is run, I am not sure how many people realize that the Community Centre is run entirely by unpaid volunteers and how much work that involves.
Alan Wilkinson, our Chairman, is at the Centre so much that some people have assumed that he is a paid member of staff. Not so, all his time is given voluntarily. Only the Caretaker, a CW&C employee, receives a salary, and a proportion of that is paid from Community Centre funds. Though the Community Centre shares an entrance hall with the Children's Centre, this CW&C service is entirely separate and independent. If they use the Hall for activities, they are doing so as a paying customer.
Just to give a flavour of what is involved, here are just some of the tasks the Committee undertake;
Opening and closing the Centre out of hours, occasionally as late as midnight.
Making sure the rooms are correctly laid out for the booked events, though we do get a lot of help from the caretaker when he is on duty.
Liaising with the landlord, CW&C, to ensure repairs are done and standards maintained.
Invoicing customers and chasing payments. Last year nearly 200 invoices were sent out for as many as 70 activities that can be on in any month. This is our main source of income.
Buying and managing bar stocks as well as just serving the drinks. This includes checking sell-by dates on sweeties!
Providing refreshments for events, from a plate of biscuits to a three course meal.
As a Charity, maintaining proper accounts and fulfilling legal requirements for such things as entertainment and liquor licenses, health and safety and safeguarding children policies etc.
Designing and printing tickets and posters
Publicity and advertising — The A-Frame doesn't walk to the High Street by itself!
Looking for new customers to ensure we can meet the £20,000+ CW&C bill every year
Washing up, and lots off it!
Planning for the future.
I do hope that this doesn't sound like a case of blowing our own trumpets. The Committee gets a great deal of pleasure and a real sense of satisfaction out of their involvement. They also appreciate the help they get from many customers who stack chairs or collect glasses at the end of an evening, and who always make sure they leave the place clean and tidy. We are committed to the long term future of the Centre and with the support of the residents feel that this future is secure.
PS — If anyone knows who sprayed the paint on the A-frame, could you ask them to stop!