Our second Burns’ Night was a huge successes – A fun night had by all!
In addition to our successful Monday afternoon Young at Heart sessions, we have recently been trialling an additional social afternoon on Thursdays as an extra event to our weekly calendar. This has been sucessful and following feedback from attendees will become known as the Thursday Chit Chat Club and will now run at the newer and earlier time of 2:30pm-4:30pm. All welcome – We hope to see you for a cuppa and a chat! Just £1.
On Saturday 20th September, volunteers from the local area gathered together at the Loundsley Green Community Centre for a litter pick, a follow-up to our first ever community tidy up which took place earlier this year in May. Similar to our previous litter pick in the spring, we unfortunately weren’t blessed with the best weather as it was another wet morning; nonetheless this didn’t deter the small group of enthusiastic local residents who wanted to give up a bit of their time to make the area a tidier place to live. Following a quick safety brief and getting their hands on a litter grabbing device which was loaned to us by Chesterfield Borough Council, our volunteers keenly braved the damp weather to collect what dropped and windswept litter could be found.
The areas covered by our mini-army of green-vested helpers were outside the shopping parade on Cuttholme Way, along Pennine Way which is the main road through the housing estate, and throughout Loundsley Green Park. There was a significant concentration of discarded litter around the seating area of the Skate Park where there is unfortunately no rubbish bin located, however this was swiftly bagged up by the team. As the weather cleared up a considerable about of litter was collected from the banks of the Holme Brook River, especially along the steeper bank which borders the shared cycle and footpath through the park. We’re glad that we were able to collect so much from this particular location at this time of year before the winds pick up in later in the autumn which risks the litter being blown into the river. One of our crew did come with his wellington boots and kindly offered to venture into the shallower parts of the river to pick what litter had washed downstream.
Having collected all manner of unusual litter including a bicycle frame, three odd socks, a car foot-mat and a cast iron water pump, the total haul came to 14 filled refuse sacks of litter in just two hours. Appreciation goes out to the volunteers, and we’ll be liaising with the borough council to investigate the feasibility of getting a litter bin installed on the park where it seems suitable. If anybody would like to be involved in a future litter pick or would like advice on how to set one up yourself, please get in touch with us!
Out latest newsletter is out now, which has details of all of our latest news and upcoming events, including a new Book Club, the return of our Litter Pick, Get Online Week and Cookery Courses. Plus our Table Top Sale is back too. To read the full newsletter or to sign up for e-mail updates, click here.
Please feel free to read our annual report which includes our history, activities going on at the centre plus the brief financial report. Congratulations on the re-election of our trustees plus our newest member Pete!
We’ve achieved so much over the past three years thanks to the effort of our volunteers – we’d like to continue that success by involving as many people as possible who share our vision.
A quick update on the latest going’s on at Loundsley Green Community Centre.
Our new Sunday Lunch Club continues to grow, and will be running on the 1st and 8th of June. Come along from noon to get a freshly cooked 3-course meal.
Starting on Saturday 7th June, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council we’re running over 14s Netball Sessions. An opportunity to have fun and keep fit, your first session is free (subsequent sessions only £2.50) and takes place every Saturday 10am-11:30am. Click here for more details.
Finally, our annual Fun Day will be on Saturday 14th June from 11am. A fantastic day of entertainment, music, games, competitions for all the family, Transition Chesterfield will be running a Repair Café – bring along your broken items and they crew will show you how to fix them! Click here for more details.
We have recently held our second Sunday Lunch Club which is proving to be successful, providing low cost home cooked food (approximately £2.50 per head for a 3-course meal). We have more dates scheduled over selected Sundays over the next few weeks – we’re always looking for volunteers to help with the food preparation.
Another of our kitchen-based initiatives, out cooking skills course is going strong, with another six local residents learning how to cook for themselves. Our culinary volunteers are also working with local youngsters from Brockwell Junior School year 5’s and the Brownies group to provide free baking sessions. Back due to popular demand, we are again running a Food Hygiene Course on Saturday 31st May, which is an opportunity to both learn how to prepare and cook safely, as well as gain an industry standard qualification – only £1 for the one-day course!
We are also holding our first ever Community Litter Pick on Saturday 24th May at 9:30am. Come and meet at the community centre for a free cup of tea/coffee before we start – equipment will be provide but please bring gloves and appropriate outdoor footwear. We aim to collect as much litter in the surrounding green spaces between 10am-noon, recycle what we can, and take pride in our local area. The more volunteers that come along, the greater the area we can cover!
The Loundsley Green Fun Day will take place on Saturday 14th June 11am-3pm which we are currently planning; there’ll be a variety of indoor entertainment and information stalls plus lots of outdoor activities. In association with Transition Chesterfield, there will be a Repair Café – bring along your broken electricals, clothes, etc. and we’ll who you how to fix and mend! Then on Sunday 13th July our Sports Day is set to take place. We are looking for volunteers to help us run both of these events – please get in touch if you can help.
We have recently installed a number of soil planters around the front and side of the community centre to brighten up the area – would you like to adopt one? Feel free to plant something, or water the beds if you live nearby.
We are also looking to run a commemoration project to mark the 50th anniversary of the Loundsley Green Estate and 100th anniversary of the First World War. If you’re interested in local history and would like to take a lead on this interesting scheme, please let us know.
Our Young at Heart weekly meetings for the over 60’s has a varied summer programme, including a 1970’s event and music quiz on 12th May and Circle Dancing on 19th May. Meetings are between 1:30-3:30pm on Monday’s except the bank holiday – Entry £1 inc tea/coffee.
Finally, there are some new regular activities set to start at the centre: Danceworks Children’s Dance School (ages 3-15) which starts on Tuesdays from May 20th between 4-6pm, and on Saturday mornings there’ll be Netball Training Sessions in association with Chesterfield Village Games (start date and time TBC – please check back on our website).
Thank you to all who came to the Aurora concert in aid of the Chesterfield Food Bank. Well over 100 people attended, each donating at least £3 worth of food – the mountain of items donated will go a long way to feed the needy people of North Derbyshire over the coming weeks.
The first table top sale of the year will be held this coming Saturday 15th March 2-4pm, where there will be plenty of sellers plus refreshments and cakes for sale. A few tables are still left – 4ft tables (£7) and (6ft) tables £10. Call Rachel on 01246 767284 to book.
We have set a date for our next new project The Sunday Lunch Club for 6th April – our aim is that any member of the community can come along and enjoy a wholesome freshly cooked low price meal in the company of others, prepared and served by volunteers, some of whom are involved with our cookery project. Designed as a social event rather than simply just a meal, we hope demand for these lunches will result in us being able to continue to provide this service.
Back due to popular demand, we will be holding another Barn Dance next month to raise funds for the community centre on Saturday 26th April – Details to follow so please check back on our website soon.
Finally, we will be holding our annual fun day and sports days in the summer (June and July respectively), and are looking how we can commemorate both 100 years since World War 1 and 50 years since the creation of the Loundsley Green estate, for a series of events in September. If you’d like to get involved with any of these upcoming events, please come to our next monthly on Tuesday 1st April or get in touch with us via our contact page.
Thanks to a Derbyshire County Council donation we are able to undertake some important renovations in our community centre; the main hall floor will be fully reconditioned for the benefit of all who use the centre, and a new corridor can be built connecting our meeting room facility to the main entrance. On Friday 7th Feb at 9:30am councillors from Derbyshire County Council presented us with the all-important cheque – thank you!
Since our community development trust was formed by local residents just over 2 years ago to save the former Church of the Ascension building from remaining empty and unused, all the hard efforts put in by each and every one of our volunteers has been rewarded by the presentation of the Big Society 2013 award from the office of the Prime Minister. In the short few years since, our new community centre in continually in use with a wide variety of new services, activities, events and partnerships, creating benefits for all. These include:
• “Young at Heart”, a social and learning club for older people
• A teenage youth club, run in partnership with the county council
• A parent and toddler group, run by volunteers
• Enterprise Coaching and Mentoring, helping people with the skills to create their own business
• Free basic IT classes, which are essential for helping people into employment and to assist older people in accessing information and services
Since 2010, the Trust has also seen:
• Over 300 people using the centre each week
• 80 people supported through free personal enterprise coaching service
• 40 people back into employment in the last 18 months
• £75,000 raised for the renovation of the community centre
• A newsletter that now reaches 3,000 homes each quarter
Commenting on the award Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“These volunteers have taken an empty shell of a building and transformed it into a thriving community centre. I’m pleased to be able to pay tribute to them – they had the vision to see what was possible and the determination to make it a reality.
“Whether it’s vulnerable older people, people who feel isolated or young people who need support getting into the workforce, the centre is empowering local people and giving them new opportunities. This is what the Big Society is all about.”
Simon Redding from Loundsley Green Community Trust said:
“We’re really happy that the hard work all our volunteers have been doing over the last few years has been recognised in the Big Society Awards. Anyone can do this – we just saw an opportunity to make a turning point in our community and we all grouped together to make it happen.”
Thanks to our great team of volunteers, regular publicity around the local community and careful management of our finances, the centre now pays its own way and will be sustainable for many years to come while still offering inexpensive (or free) room hire to charity and community groups. We will also continue to host and promote regular activities to keep the centre lively to ensure it is constantly in use by residents.
Future developments and activities are generated through open monthly community meetings & surveys. This has resulted in the recent launch of the town’s second food bank in recent week at our centre, in partnership with local churches and the Trussell Trust. September will see the completion of a kitchen refurbishment and the launch of inter-generational cookery classes – passing on experience and skills to future local chefs.
Our community trust is always looking for new volunteers to join us in changing our community for the better – if you’d like to help please contact us!