SOS call for volunteers to stop community centre from closing

: Foxwood Community Centre committee members, from left, John Hillyer, who cooks, Jean Forrester, chairman, treasurer, booking secretary, and caretaker, Tania Powell, committee member; and Ann Decker, volunteer

: Foxwood Community Centre committee members, from left, John Hillyer, who cooks, Jean Forrester, chairman, treasurer, booking secretary, and caretaker, Tania Powell, committee member; and Ann Decker, volunteer

First published in News
Last updated
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VOLUNTEERS who are shoring up a York community centre have made a desperate plea for more supporters to help it stay open.

Foxwood Community Centre is home to exercise classes, mum and baby groups, slimming clubs, Irish dancing, hula hooping, over 50s clubs, and even a choir, but it faces ruin if more people do not give their time to help it carry on.

The centre has lost its council funding, and the full-time caretaker that cash provided, meaning an increasingly stretched team of volunteers have had to take on the time-consuming and demanding work of running the facility.

On Wednesday, July 30 the committee held a drop-in event to appeal for more volunteers, and is holding another on Thursday from 7-8pm at the centre on Cranfield Place. There will also be an AGM on Wednesday, September 3, when they hope to elect a new committee of people who want to see the community hub saved for the people of Foxwood.

The current committee treasurer is Jean Forrester, one of a small but committed group of volunteers whose numbers have taken a blow amid the growing pressure of running the centre without the help of paid staff.

Both the chairman and former treasurer had to step down at the last AGM, as pressures of work meant they could not devote enough time to the growing demands of the centre, leaving just four people trying to keep the building going.

Mrs Forrester said: "If we don't find more volunteers, the centre will have to close."

The committee desperately needs a new bookings secretary, Mrs Forrester said, as well as help to raise money to cover the building's running costs.

"We need more income, but we can't put the rent up too much. We need someone to help us apply for grants."

Mrs Forrester has been involved in the centre for almost 30 years, and was part of the group that fought for the current centre to be built, replacing a former workmen's wooden the community used on the same site.

She added: "We are hoping that the people of Foxwood and Woodthorpe will come along to see what they can do to help."

Comments (11)

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10:30am Mon 4 Aug 14

Yorkswalls says...

These community centres play a key role in our society and should be supported.
These community centres play a key role in our society and should be supported. Yorkswalls
  • Score: 11

4:33pm Mon 4 Aug 14

pedalling paul says...

Many villages have retired professionals amongst their residents, who are perhaps skilled and motivated to help out as Village Hall volunteers & trustees.

But perhaps that is less so, in urban areas.
Many villages have retired professionals amongst their residents, who are perhaps skilled and motivated to help out as Village Hall volunteers & trustees. But perhaps that is less so, in urban areas. pedalling paul
  • Score: 10

4:40pm Mon 4 Aug 14

LibDem says...

The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green.

Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users).

They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker.

A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City.
The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green. Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users). They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker. A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City. LibDem
  • Score: -17

5:00pm Mon 4 Aug 14

janice gray says...

it is very difficult to run a Community Centre without some funding. It is always the same few people that end up fund raising etc. I was one of the 2 people that campaigned to get the council to build Tang Hall Community Centre, way back in 1986/87. Good luck to Foxwood.
it is very difficult to run a Community Centre without some funding. It is always the same few people that end up fund raising etc. I was one of the 2 people that campaigned to get the council to build Tang Hall Community Centre, way back in 1986/87. Good luck to Foxwood. janice gray
  • Score: 9

5:15pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Frodo Baggins says...

LibDem wrote:
The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green.

Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users).

They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker.

A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City.
A council that allowed the debacle of the Barbican have no right to criticise and should never be allowed back into office again.
[quote][p][bold]LibDem[/bold] wrote: The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green. Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users). They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker. A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City.[/p][/quote]A council that allowed the debacle of the Barbican have no right to criticise and should never be allowed back into office again. Frodo Baggins
  • Score: 6

5:58pm Mon 4 Aug 14

LibDem says...

Barbicans been a success since it was taken over by the private sector.

No comparison with these small community centres around the City which do need Council support..
Barbicans been a success since it was taken over by the private sector. No comparison with these small community centres around the City which do need Council support.. LibDem
  • Score: -9

7:01pm Mon 4 Aug 14

nottoooldtocare says...

LibDem wrote:
The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green.

Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users).

They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker.

A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City.
Sadly it isn't just the Community Centres within estates such as Foxwood, it is much wider problem and in fairness it doesn't matter how many helpers you have, if the council withdraw funding you are going to have a real battle to stay open.
The present Council appear to have their priorities all wrong and local opinion and community well-being is too far down the agenda. As little Jimmy and his inept lickspittles enter the final year of office, they might want to reflect on some of the decisions they have made, or not as the case may be. Is York a better town to live in as a result of their governance? No. Is it better to visit as a tourist? Possibly (depending on the things you like). COYC have little if any regard for the residents or their opinions, they (we) are seen as cash cows to fund concerts no one goes to (TDF), and conferences to tell them what they want to hear, not to mention the unpopular refurb' works.
The word on the street is that JA is heading for the Midlands to be an MP, so all we can hope for is that it's true and he takes his underlings too (though god alone knows what they have done to deserve this lot). Whoever gets in next need to be mindful of the comments on pages such as these and wider, the residents (aka the bill payers) are tired of not being listened to. York used to be a reasonably affluent City, but now, we appear to be struggling to pay for the bins to be emptied. Yes JA & Co you must look back on your term of office with real pride (I jest). The sad thing is you probably do!
[quote][p][bold]LibDem[/bold] wrote: The Council needs to realise that you can't provide every service based on what "volunteers" can do. People who come home from a hard days work don't expect to have to get the Qualcast out to mow the village green. Volunteers can supplement and add value to the quality of the public services paid for by taxpayers (and users). They should not be expected to fund, manage, repair and maintain every aspect of a community centre which, until very recently, enjoyed the services of a Council funded, part time, caretaker. A Council that recently budgeted to spend £228,000 on a 5 hour concert, has got its priorities badly wrong if it fails to sustain the 5 community centres that we have in the City.[/p][/quote]Sadly it isn't just the Community Centres within estates such as Foxwood, it is much wider problem and in fairness it doesn't matter how many helpers you have, if the council withdraw funding you are going to have a real battle to stay open. The present Council appear to have their priorities all wrong and local opinion and community well-being is too far down the agenda. As little Jimmy and his inept lickspittles enter the final year of office, they might want to reflect on some of the decisions they have made, or not as the case may be. Is York a better town to live in as a result of their governance? No. Is it better to visit as a tourist? Possibly (depending on the things you like). COYC have little if any regard for the residents or their opinions, they (we) are seen as cash cows to fund concerts no one goes to (TDF), and conferences to tell them what they want to hear, not to mention the unpopular refurb' works. The word on the street is that JA is heading for the Midlands to be an MP, so all we can hope for is that it's true and he takes his underlings too (though god alone knows what they have done to deserve this lot). Whoever gets in next need to be mindful of the comments on pages such as these and wider, the residents (aka the bill payers) are tired of not being listened to. York used to be a reasonably affluent City, but now, we appear to be struggling to pay for the bins to be emptied. Yes JA & Co you must look back on your term of office with real pride (I jest). The sad thing is you probably do! nottoooldtocare
  • Score: -8

7:51am Tue 5 Aug 14

pedalling paul says...

York had a mix of standalone Community centres and some managed by CoYC. The latter had to be offloaded due to budgetary constraints, imposed by Whitehall.
York had a mix of standalone Community centres and some managed by CoYC. The latter had to be offloaded due to budgetary constraints, imposed by Whitehall. pedalling paul
  • Score: 4

8:43am Tue 5 Aug 14

Oaklands Resident says...

The Council has a gross annual budget of over £400 million. They could have prioritised local facilities such as funding community centres over other projects. They have chosen not to. No use blaming Whitehall; it is a local decision.

Ironically the centres under threat (Foxwood, Bell Farm, Tang Hall and Chapelfields) are in areas where average incomes are low and hence the ability to find alternative funding is more difficult than in other parts of the City.
The Council has a gross annual budget of over £400 million. They could have prioritised local facilities such as funding community centres over other projects. They have chosen not to. No use blaming Whitehall; it is a local decision. Ironically the centres under threat (Foxwood, Bell Farm, Tang Hall and Chapelfields) are in areas where average incomes are low and hence the ability to find alternative funding is more difficult than in other parts of the City. Oaklands Resident
  • Score: -4

10:17am Tue 5 Aug 14

sheps lad says...

pedalling paul wrote:
York had a mix of standalone Community centres and some managed by CoYC. The latter had to be offloaded due to budgetary constraints, imposed by Whitehall.
Apologist!
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: York had a mix of standalone Community centres and some managed by CoYC. The latter had to be offloaded due to budgetary constraints, imposed by Whitehall.[/p][/quote]Apologist! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

8:14pm Sat 16 Aug 14

chrisyork says...

These people (mainly women) do a wonderful job in running the centre but I get the feeling that it is a losing battle they are fighting, perhaps if James Alexander spent a day or two seeing what they do then he would realise how important the place was, I sadly think the place will close its a sign of the times, just look at Acomb that was once a great place to visit and shop in but is now a shadow of its former self, even only a few years ago it was a thriving place now its had the wind kicked out of it like what is happening to this place, times are a changing and certainly not for the better.
These people (mainly women) do a wonderful job in running the centre but I get the feeling that it is a losing battle they are fighting, perhaps if James Alexander spent a day or two seeing what they do then he would realise how important the place was, I sadly think the place will close its a sign of the times, just look at Acomb that was once a great place to visit and shop in but is now a shadow of its former self, even only a few years ago it was a thriving place now its had the wind kicked out of it like what is happening to this place, times are a changing and certainly not for the better. chrisyork
  • Score: 1

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