Stockingford Community Centre serves the population of Nuneaton, in particular Stockingford, Bar Pool, Kingswood and Camphill – areas of multiple deprivation. Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has funded the Centre, but once the imminent lease transfer has taken place (May 2023), the Centre will be run by a group of volunteer Trustees and a paid Centre Manager.
SCC comprises 2 halls and 2 large meeting rooms that are hired out by a wide variety of different local charities, voluntary groups and small businesses. Since November, Volunteers run a weekly Community Café, an Edible Gardening Project and a Warm Wednesday Club aimed specifically at those with highest need.
Currently approximately 650 individuals and families visit the Centre each week (many with complex and special needs) giving them a place to meet, to engage in all sorts of activities and to give each other support. We want to run more in-house projects, involve more volunteers and address further the need to help isolated people who need help with their wellbeing.
Our room hire rates are low. We have installed solar panels and LEDs thanks to a £23,000 grant from Greenshoots. By generating our own electricity, we can keep our hire rates low and minimise the barrier to local groups using the Centre.
We currently have 30 different groups using the Centre from Brownies and Rainbows, Little Pegs (for families with autistic children), to Indoor Bowling (for the elderly), a wellbeing café, faith groups and puppy training. The Centre Manager tries to ensure that there is as wide a range of groups as possible to reflect the Centre’s purpose of serving it’s whole community.
We have extended our reach by introducing the Community Café which has involved recruiting and training volunteers – from a 17 year old to and 80 year old. We serve food that is really good value. The café is gradually gaining customers and we are aiming to open it 2 days a week in the Autumn. We also run a Wednesday Warm hub for people with needs who want to socialise or to have a free sandwich.
We have received Greenshoots funding for our new edible gardening project that is now underway and run by volunteers.