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Come Together - Socialise, Celebrate and Learn
Every community needs a focal point. A place where people of all ages and abilities can come together to socialise, celebrate and learn. Herne and Broomfield parish is intending to replace a dilapidated, draughty old hall with a welcoming, environment friendly community centre.
Our Old Hall is Not Fit for Purpose
The existing hall is more than 50 years old. The roof leaks, the thin walls lose heat and the old kitchen is too tiny to prepare food. The toilets are not accessible to people in wheelchairs.
Malcolm Saunders, Head Teacher of Herne Junior School wrote about our hall "The village has been making do with an existing building, which, quite frankly, is not fit for purpose. It is poorly insulated and full of damp. Many of our parents refuse to send their children to events and activities on offer there, as they state that it is too cold in the winter months and that the essential facilities, eg. size of kitchen and toilets, are woefully inadequate. I also believe that it is not DDA compliant and would not meet the Equalities Act."
There is strong demand for community facilities in the area with most halls fully booked for most of the time.
Snug & Warm – Environmentally Friendly
The building chosen by our local community, has been designed to a high standard of excellence and of sustainable construction. This includes 10kw of integrated Solar PV tiles, to provide electricity for the kitchen and hall and power the efficient LED lights of the building; air source heat pumps will provide underfloor heating, plus an energy free ventilation system will be installed. Together these innovations will reduce the cost of running the centre and ensure that everyone can be comfortable inside and it will be suitable for people who may not cope well with the cold, like wheelchair users, elderly people and young children.
Setting an Example
We hope by setting an example to the community that it will encourage more residents and local business to invest in renewable technology.
The new centre will be fully accessible to all, with facilities chosen after consulting our neighbours at Strode Park Foundation for Disabled People.
Activities for everyone
We anticipate that the community centre will feature a diverse programme of activities including dancing, Pilates, indoor bowls, children's birthday parties and meeting space for clubs and youth groups. The centre has been designed in a flexible way so that the three spaces inside can be used together or independently.
The main hall has capacity for 120 people and is suitable for wedding receptions and christenings. Being so close to the church we expect this to be a very popular option! It will also be useful for training, conferences, quiz nights and family parties.
The good sized, well-equipped, accessible kitchen will increase the number of bookings as it would allow functions to self-cater, local clubs and groups to offer refreshments to their members, and wheelchair users and supervised children to prepare food with accessible work tops. There is even the potential for a café, the development of a lunch club for elderly or isolated people and much more besides.
The adjoining small hall will be suitable for about 50 people - great for clubs, games, education classes, senior's computer classes, and coding school for youngsters.
A third room will be available for groups of up to 12 people to meet. This will be ideal for interviews, community wardens and councillor's surgeries, book clubs, citizens advice, and social and police services.
We plan to have free Wifi to aid social inclusion - helping those seeking a job, people needing to view planning applications and so forth.
We hope you’ll support us in our quest to replace a run-down building with a new purpose built, viable, warm and environmentally friendly community centre to create a greater sense of community within our parish!
Please join our supporters and help us create a warm community centre by voting for us in the M & S Energy Community Fund.