2021 Annual Review
2021 has been again been a difficult year for the Community Centre. The year began in total lockdown, however the small hall operated as a Preschool intermittently with several closures due to COVID. Majority of other youth and fitness users were allowed to return to sessions in May. Not until September did we see the return of other groups (operating socially distanced), some for shorter periods2021 has been again been a difficult year for the Community Centre. The year began in total lockdown, however the small hall operated as a Preschool intermittently with several closures due to COVID. Majority of other youth and fitness users were allowed to return to sessions in May. Not until September did we see the return of other groups (operating socially distanced), some for shorter periods.
- New kitchen with dishwasher and cooker installed in the small hall in August.
- Annual payment to Church Hall Trust not made as refurbishment of the small hall kitchen urgently needed.
- Annual rent paid to St. Matthew and St. Luke’s Church
- Grateful thanks to Arnold Clark for their donation to assist with the monthly running costs of the centre during lockdown.
- Supported purchase of booklets, along with other local organisations for issue to pupils of Corporation Road Primary School.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Annaul servicing of heating boiler in the main hall and small hall took place in March/August respectively.
- Annual PAT Testing for both buildings completed in October.
- Fire alarms servicing undertaken and emergency lights tested regularly in both halls.
- Fire extinguishers serviced in October.
- In April, at the request of our neighbour in Hazel Avenue, we applied for permission to have the large Sweet Chestnut Tree crown pruned 20% and dead branches, this was refused. Concerns re situation of a branch falling in the Nursery raised with Council.
- Overnight in mid-September a large branch fell into the Nursery garden from the adjoining wasteland. Concerns raised with local Councillors about its condition and future safety for children in the Nursery.
Doug Hutchinson (Circuit Training – Sunday and Wednesday evenings) has not returned following lockdown and as yet Mel Hutchinson (Pilates/Aerobics) has not returned Has confirmed non return on a Monday morning, however may return on a Friday morning as restrictions lift.
We have been able to accommodate additional groups due to the closure of other venues in the town:-
a) Pimms and Needles (1 st Wednesday evening– monthly) b) Darlington West Women’s Institute (2nd Wednesday – monthly)
b) Darlington Amateur Gardeners (3rd Wednesday – monthly)
c) Peak Dog Training (Thursday evening, weekly, replacing Boys Brigade)
e) Darlington Sugarcraft Guild (3rd Saturday – monthly)
f) South Durham U3A – 3rd Tuesday – monthly
g) The Active Foundation – Active Mums/Low Impact – Friday afternoon
h) We have also been able to facilitate monthly evening meeting for the Friends of the Dene and Darlington Community Carnival.
Sadly Boy’s Brigade have not returned on a Thursday evening being one of the original church groups using the centre when originally built..
Overall despite the year we have achieved our objective of 5% increase in usage, maintained financial security and receive continuous feedback from users via regular contact.
Thanks to the volunteer management team for their continued support to run the centre and to facilitate casual users on weekends.
2020 Annual Review
2020 has been a difficult year for the Community Centre, it started well until COVID restrictions meant total closure in March. Between the three lockdowns there were certain groups who were allowed to operate in line with their governing body rules as we were able to provide users with our Risk Assessment and a one way entry and exit, hand sanitiser stations. As a charity we were unable to apply for support from the government schemes administered via our local authority as only available to rateable properties.
- Floor protection chair leg inserts replaced on main hall seating.
- Sump pump serviced and regular operational checks undertaken
- Gutters on both halls and storage units cleaned
- Drains from main hall cleared of building rubble
- New pipework fittings and remedial concreting next to waste land undertaken
- Leaking tap in Small Hall resolved with purchase of appropriate wrench
- New valve fitted in Main Hall gents urinals
- All private party bookings deposits taken for the year were refunded in June as COVID19 restrictions continued and event unlikely to take place.
- Annual payment to Church Hall Trust made despite lack of centre usage.
- Annual rent o paid to St. Matthew and St. Luke’s Church
- Serendipity Pre-School continued use of the Small Hall five days during the year, as permitted by COVID restrictions was a welcome regular income when the Main Hall activities could no operate.
- Supported purchase of booklets, along with other local organisation for issue to pupils of Corporation Road Primary School.
- Pre-planning application to Darlington Borough Council submitted in December 2019 was refused. Not progressed due to COVID restrictions.
- In February our website was updated to make more user friendly.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- Annual servicing of heating boiler in the main hall and small hall took place in March/August respectively.
- Main hall made COVID19 compliant with signage, 4 hand sanitiser stations, gloves, additional cleaning materials etc.
- New roof loft ladder fitted as original one broken, access area enlarged.
- Electronic rat repeller purchased for Small Hall to deter rats from adjoining waste land.
- 5 Year Electrical Installation Condition Report undertaken with four recommendations, two completed within year.
- Annual PAT Testing for both buildings completed Fire alarms serviced and new emergency exit fittings installed in both halls.
- New battery required via ADT for Main Hall alarm.
2017 Annual Review
- We replaced paper hand towel holders in the toilet areas with 5 electric hand driers and installed double toilet roll holders.
- Sensory lights were fitted in all toilet areas and the kitchen.
- Some external floodlights were replaced with LED lights.
- New door was installed on the storage area and shelving erected.
- Hedgehog gutter guards were installed on the main building to keep the gutters leaf free.
Additional weekly bookings since mid-year have included Destination Judo and Kim Chung Do Kwan. On a monthly basis we have the Coronary Care Support Social Group and Trefoil Guild who also use the Centre. Unfortunately, we have lost one group, 10th Darlington Brownies who have amalgamated with the Monday group.
Health & Safety
- Fire Extinguishers yearly check undertaken in May
- PAT testing of all electrical equipment took place in August
- Lunch club retained it’s 5 Star status following an inspection by the Environmental Health Officer from Darlington Borough Council
- A new projector for the centre was purchased
- New heating boiler was installed in the main building in March and the system flushed.
- Serendipity Pre-School continue to use the Small Hall five days a week.
- Other weekly users include: Rainbow, Brownie, Guide and Ranger Units; Boys Brigade; 6 Fitness Sessions with Mel and Doug Hutchinson; Coronary Support (Yoga & Tai Chi);Parent and Toddlers; Karate; Rugrat Rugby; Slimming World and Link – fitness session.
- 85 additional events/party bookings have taken place
- The Centre was used for Elections on 2 occasions this year
- Friends of the Dene have loaned tables for events on 2 occasions
- 2 Charity Events have taken place, free of charge
- Sadly Zita Allan a long serving member of our Management Committee died in July, she supported the centre as a neighbour and keyholder and will be missed.
- Many thanks also to the Management Committee who open the centre for private events and ensure the centre is always fit for use.