Abingdon Carousel (a registered charity) was set up to re-open and run the former South Abingdon Children's Centre, which is a purpose built as a former Sure Start project, next to Caldecott Primary School.
After two years working to get funding and a lease, the centre recommenced services for families with young children in September 2018. We provide services such as play sessions and also act as a hub for other related service providers to reach this target audience. Our business plan includes room hire as a separate income source from charitable grants and support from the Town Council, and other local organisations.
The Board of Trustees meet approximately monthly and meetings are around two hours long. There is no other specific requirement, although many Trustees also work voluntarily in the centre for short periods. The financial outlook is positive for the next two years with a deficit three years ahead when current funding ends. All our own services are free to access, although parents are asked to contribute a pound into our pot each time they come to a session, to cover basic costs, if they are able.
One of the major tasks for the Trustees is to work towards increased income, private donations and future grant applications. We need to strategically plan development of additional services in line with needs and budget more value to the local community, and specifically to address the needs of families with disabled children. The Trustees are ultimately responsible for safeguarding, data protection and the general safety of all who use the centre.
We are looking for additional trustees and with a potential Chair of Trustees needed in July 2020.
Full programme of sessions for under school age babies and children, from NCT sessions for expectant parents, Health Visitors regular work with new babies, and breast feeding, play sessions for each age groups and working with partners to provide different counselling, support and healthy cooking using food bank donations.