The Roseland Centre

The Roseland Centre

At a glance

Causes

  • Young people

Other details

Organisation type: 
Charity
Geographical remit: 
National - Britain

Objectives

The Roseland Centre (TRC) was originally built in 1893 as a Methodist school for the local village, and was later taken over by Cornwall Council as a residential hub for local schools and groups to access the area for outdoor activities for children and young people, until it closed in 2016 as part of the general closure of all Outdoor Recreation Centres by the Council, a process that finally ended in July 2022. The Centre had accommodated hundreds of young people a year, providing the opportunity for them to benefit from outdoor activities and sports in an area of outstanding natural beauty. With the closure of TRC and all the other similar Centres in Cornwall, access to the physical and mental wellbeing benefits delivered by such facilities to Cornish children was lost. 

In 2018 Cornwall Council planned to sell the empty Community building for property development, having excluded the possibility of building affordable homes on the site. Local volunteers formed a committee to save the Centre from being lost to the Community. The group raised funding for a feasibility study, including consultation with the local Community, aiming to re-open for its previous purposes as a residential hub for outdoor activities; they also saw an opportunity to provide a Community resource for educational, voluntary and Community groups, and a place to promote supportive activities and networks for young and old. 

The committee put the business case for buying the Centre to maintain it as a Community asset to the Council and negotiated a below-market purchase price of £200,000. With this agreement, the committee organised themselves to raise the funds required, forming a new charity ‘The Roseland Centre’ (“TRC”) in 2019. In September 2022, after a successful Crowdfunding campaign with significant support from the local Community, TRC has now purchased the building on a Freehold, Debt-free basis. This was “Phase 1”. 

TRC’s vision is to create a community-led, residential Centre enabling a range of outdoor educational and cultural experiences to promote health, well-being and sustainability for children and young people with a view to a long-term Community hub for all.  

TRC’s initial aim in “Phase 2” is to get the Centre refurbished and re-opened to local schools and Community groups as quickly as possible. Our intention is to provide simple accommodation, with three dormitory rooms with bunk beds, toilets, showers, and a kitchen, with basic services provided such as breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals, for those who require it. We will establish partnerships with local activity providers, e.g., for paddle sports, sailing, climbing, hiking, etc.  Thus, TRC will begin to receive trading income within the first year, with a view to becoming self-sustaining by year two. 

Once Phase 2 is complete, and depending on Community need, TRC will also make space available for local Community use, e.g., for local individuals or groups to run classes, or for other residential users during periods of low demand from schools (e.g., for specialist residential weekends run by local practitioners, RNLI Training sessions, etc.). 

We have been supported by many local and national funders. We have been in consultation with local suppliers to ensure the local sustainability that reduces our carbon footprint. We are situated amongst AONB blue and green spaces which will help young and old alike to promote positive mental & physical health.

However, without some further investment it will not be possible to realise any of these aims. We face huge challenges in raising further funding, and the project is at risk of stalling before it can deliver its planned benefits to the Community. 

Activities

In Phase 2, we will simply offer dormitory-style accommodation, and we will act as a coordinator to link our customers with local providers of various outdoor recreation facilities such as sailing, canoeing/kayaking, paddle-boarding and other sports in this AONB.  As we develop, we plan to bring as many as possible of these facilities in-house, either by direct ownership of e.g. kayaks, or by sub-contracting the services of others to provide the necessary facilities.  When we eventually arrive at Phase 3 our buildings will be much enhanced and our offering much wider.

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