‘WE’RE MOVING FORWARD’ SAYS THE KENILWORTH CENTRE
After a very difficult 12 months last year, the Trustees of the Kenilworth Centre expressed cautious optimism about the future at their AGM last week.
The AGM was attended by more than 25 local people, who heard about the steps recently taken by the Trustees to ensure the sustainability of the Centre’s youth and community work. The Centre suffered when the Town Council decided not to continue its annual £30,000 funding of the Centre’s work with effect from March this year, as a result of which the Centre had had to make its one full-time employee’s post redundant. However, the Centre has subsequently been able to attract several new regular user groups, as well as volunteers, and for the year ended March 2016 it reported only a very small financial deficit.
Speaking at the AGM, John Whitehouse, Chair of Trustees, said ‘we’re hugely grateful to the 881 local residents who signed the petition in support of the Centre’s work and also to the local Lions, Rotary and Round Table clubs who recently have each very generously invested £5,000 in our work with the potential for further funding for two further years subject to satisfactory progress against our business plan.’
During the summer months, thanks to WREN funding, the Centre created a new external rear entrance to the building which, together with internal structural changes, now provides separate access to the Centre’s IT suite, recording studio and radio room, all of which are available for hire. The Centre is also the first Warwickshire venue to test use of an online room booking system which will make it easier for users to make bookings, rather than waiting for the Centre to open during the day or having to visit the Centre.
The Centre’s youth work continues to be very popular and the Trustees are looking to increase the number of youth club sessions to a second evening each week and to offer specific courses for young people, such as babysitting and cooking on a budget. The Centre’s one-to-one mentoring work with young people at Kenilworth School is continuing, thanks to ongoing support by the Kenilworth United Charities, as also is the Friday evening detached youth work around the town after the Centre successfully applied during the summer months for a specific £4,680 grant from the Town Council.
As well as thanking all the residents and local bodies who support the work of the Kenilworth Centre, Mr Whitehouse expressed appreciation of the work done by the Centre’s part-time staff and volunteers, especially at the Youth Club and the fortnightly Abbey Cinema. ‘We’re always looking for more volunteers and currently we have a couple of Trustee vacancies for anyone with marketing or financial expertise’. Anyone interested in helping the Kenilworth Centre should ‘phone 01926 855205 or email firstname.lastname@example.org