As many of you may know, keeping the Community Centre busy with bookings is how the Committee raises the money to pay the £26,000 that goes to CW&C every year. This pays for our share of the heating, lighting and caretaking costs to keep the Centre running. These regular commitments from groups like Slimming World, Pilates and Toddlers etc. are our financial lifeblood.
There are events on every weekday and usually some on a weekend as well, demanding a bit of creative thinking by the booking clerk to fit everything in.
But last week, starting on Monday 6th July, was exceptional with no less than 26 separate events on during the week. Actually it was 27, but that was a Community Centre Committee meeting so I suppose doesn't count!
So how did the week go?
Monday was easy with the Hall filled with school children for their first rehearsal of the school play. Apart from a few chairs for teachers – and coffee – there was nothing else to prepare. Similarly, the Afternoon Yoga session in the Edna Rose Room needed nothing but a clean floor and the Zumba class in the evening simply need space!
Tuesday was extremely hectic. The Edna Rose room was busy all day. When the Weigh and Play session ended the room was prepared for the Library and then transformed quickly into a sewing room in the evening for the re-established Sewing Group.
The Hall was a hive of activity with another school rehearsal, but this time with lights and sound, so instruction had to be given. When they left at 1.00pm, the space was made ready for Tai Chi, 18 chairs in a semi-circle for a bit of quiet meditation, which then had to be removed for Ballet later in the afternoon. Then it was the turn of Body Pump and Tone, while the Community Centre Committee was consigned to the Small Room.
On Wednesday the Slimming World group take over the Hall for 3 sessions, filling the space with their books, food and weighing equipment. Fortunately Vicki the Leader is most accommodating and was happy for all her things removed into the back room at lunch time so that the Hall could be prepared for the Pre-school Concert with mats and chairs. All this was then dismantled and Slimming World re-assembled for their next session. In the Edna Rose room the Flower Club worked their magic.
Thursday saw yet another school rehearsal before the Hall was transformed in the evening for the regular and long-standing Bingo session. The Edna Rose room became the Library for their second weekly session after the morning GoOnLine computer session finished. The Neighbourhood Plan was being quietly created in the Small Room as well from 7.30pm.
Friday seemed to start well with plenty of time to set up the Hall with the 180 seats needed for the two school play performances. But there was a small technical hitch as the Toddler group had been inadvertently removed from the schedule. Within a brief time the chairs were removed, the toys and equipment brought out and the toddlers happily entertained as usual. The Toddlers very kindly agreed to finish a bit early so that everything could be put away and 180 chairs and floor mats could be in place for the two sold out performances.
(I think it is fair to say that if we had asked people after the performances what improvements they would like to see in the Community Centre, I suspect air conditioning would have come top of the list!)
The buzz after the concert was electric. In a remarkably short space of time all the props, exhibits and refreshments debris was removed, some by staff and children who had had a very long day, but there was still a job to do. All the chairs had to be put away for the Saturday session of Rugby Tots. I am delighted to say that Karate on a Sunday evening look after themselves, needing only a few floor mats to function. Thankfully there were no children's parties scheduled for the weekend!
....and so endeth the week.....
To get through such a programme needs hard graft, largely from the Caretaker and Chairman, with a lot of help from other Committee members. It need careful planning and a willingness of some of our customers to give and take a bit when things get a bit tight.
Is it worth it?
Well to see the looks of delight on the face of the little ones and the pride on the faces of parents and the quiet hum of classes going on and people's aspirations being met, yes of course it is worth it.
Would we like a week like that every week? Probably not – but if we do, would like you to come and help......................?