Article in “The News” – January 2020
Launch of a ‘new era’ in Emsworth as association takes over control of community centre
A TOWN is taking back control of the development of its community centre as a ‘new era’ is launched in Emsworth.
Ownership of Emsworth Community Centre
As of this December, Members of Emsworth Community Association now own the freehold and buildings that make up Emsworth Community Centre in North Street, behind the Fire Station. Hampshire County Council have supported the move by transferring ownership from themselves to Emsworth Community Association for a nominal fee of one pound.
Mike Stott, Chairman of Emsworth Community Association, said; “This is a landmark day for the people of Emsworth and for our Members. We now have full control over the future development of the Community Centre and will ensure it continues to flourish for many years to come. We are already one of the busiest Community Centres in Hampshire with one of the largest Membership base and it is wonderful to think that the Community Centre is run by local people for the benefit of the community of Emsworth and surrounding areas. This launches a new era for the Community Centre and for the people of Emsworth.”
Hampshire County Council offered the transfer, as part of their commitment to the Localism Act, to ensure that local people become more active in the development of their local community. This proposal was put to Members of Emsworth Community Association back in January at an Extra Ordinary Meeting, where it was given unanimous support. It also meant that the Association was given the permission from its members to change its charitable status from a non-incorporated to incorporated, which was essential for the ownership of the land and buildings. Emsworth Community Association were supported legally, by Sarah Humphrey of Belcher Frost, who ensured that all the legalities of the transfer were in place to ensure a smooth transfer.
Mike Stott went on to say; “The charitable status has been upgraded to reflect the latest charitable standards and provide a stronger base for the charity in the future. The Community Centre will continue to support the needs of its Members and users. In fact already this month we have refurbished the kitchen to bring it up to date and provide users with more work-surface and better storage facilities, just in time for all the Christmas parties and celebrations. We managed to complete the works with a generous donation from Emsworth Food Festival.”
Emsworth Community Centre’s main kitchen was renovated at the beginning of December to provide users with a more worktops, more storage and a professional finish.
Mike Stott, Chairman for Emsworth Community Association (ECA) that runs the Centre commented; “The kitchen is now a great resource for the Centre and makes it possible to cater for all types of occasion, from teas and coffees to large functions and Weddings. It is great to have it completed just in time for all the lovely Christmas parties that are coming up.”
Mike went on to explain that; “The financing of the renovations have been made possible by a generous donation from Emsworth Food Festival via Cllr Lulu Bowerman. We were also delighted that the renovations were carried out by an Emsworth based commercial kitchen specialists, BFES, who kindly donated a new large upright freezer to the Centre.”
The large kitchen now hosts a large gas cooker, dishwasher, two large sinks, two fridges, a freezer, microwave and plenty of equipment to cater for dinner functions of up to one hundred. For more details please contact the ECA office.
23 January 2019
Vivienne Davies 1948 – 2018
Over Christmas we received the sad news that our friend and fellow Trustee, Vivienne Davies had unexpectedly passed away.
We send our thoughts and condolences to her family.
A service to celebrate her life will be held on:
Friday 11th January at 3.15 pm
at the Oaks Crematorium in Havant
We hope those of you who knew her will be able to attend.
Viv had been an active volunteer and supporter of Emsworth Community Centre since it started back in the mid-1970s and held the position of Chair of Emsworth Community Association for several years. She was greatly respected by many, especially the late Mrs Helen Barnard MBE, for her commitment to supporting the local community.
Viv’s dedication was most visible to the public as she led the annual Children’s Pet Show. More recently Viv helped to keep the fabric of the building in good condition and Chaired the Buildings & Fabric Committee. She will be greatly missed, both as a friend and as a fellow Trustee.
Mike Stott, Chairman
Helen Irene Barnard MBE
Has died aged 90 at QA Hospital on 22nd September 2018
Helen was President of the Emsworth Community Association (ECA) for 20 years and was then elected ‘Life Vice President’. During this time Emsworth Community Centre expanded in size and the variety and number of activities increased. The momentum that Helen and others managed to generate then has ensured that the Centre continues to flourish today. Helen received a MBE in recognition of her services to the Community.
Helen was a member of a steering group set up in 1974 to explore whether a Community Centre could be established in the St James Church School premises in Church Path. The school was about to be moved to their new site off the Horndean Road. Sufficient progress was made for a public meeting in June 1975 to adopt a constitution, enrol members and set up the Council of Management of the ECA. Helen was elected as President of the Council. Her force of personality and drive ensured that the separate groups and activities, many of which she had started herself, worked well together creating a wide range of activities available at the Centre.
Helen leaves two sons, one of whom – Will – is currently a Trustee of the Association. Our thoughts are with her family.
Her funeral is on Friday 12th October at 12.15pm, at St Thomas a Becket Church, Warblington.
12 Nov 2016
As you can see the restored Assembly Room is looking lovely again.
The flooring has been completely replaced and lots of work has been done on the drainage behind the scenes to dry out the building and prevent the damp coming back.
Once the walls are dry we will give them a fresh coat of paint.
Enhancing the Centre
Making it a lighter, brighter and more accessible
Over the bank holiday the builders removed the Gents toilet from reception thus creating a corridor which joins both wings of the building together properly. This means that you can now walk from one end of the Community Centre to the other without having to go outside.
Refurbishment of the Gents and Ladies toilets has commenced and works to the ECA Office start mid-November, during which time the Office will be relocated to the Computer Room. Then to complete the fresh look, new vinyl flooring will be laid throughout the main corridors and the main areas will be redecorated.
In the New Year we’re looking forward to installing fully automated and accessible doors to the main entrance
21 October 2016
25 November 2015
Life Saving Training
Emsworth Community Centre is a busy and vibrant place that attracts a large number of users, many of whom are involved in physical activity or who are retired. So the Community Centre was delighted to receive the gift of a defibrillator, equipment that can help save lives, from the Friends of Emsworth Community Health (formerly the Friends of Emsworth Hospital).
Mr and Mrs Daines, from the Friends of Emsworth Community Health came to watch Mr Rick Mawer of SCAS Training of South Central Ambulance, take eight people including staff, volunteers and a few group leaders through the vital steps of dealing with an emergency and how to preserve life and use the defibrillator until the emergency services arrive. Mr Daines commented; “It is so great to see everyone being trained up on life saving skills, so that we can help prevent more people dying unnecessarily. We have been fundraising for many years to ensure defibrillators are available to help save lives.”
Participants also learnt that whilst traditional life-saving skills are still essential to preserving life, the chances of survival are greatly increased with the added help of defibrillators. Anne Jolly, Founder of SADS UK, the Ashley Jolly SAD Trust explains: “SADS UK is pleased that Emsworth Community Association has placed a defibrillator in their community. They will benefit from having a defibrillator to restart the heart if there is a cardiac arrest in the vicinity. Using CPR alone provides a 5% chance of survival but early use of the defibrillator as well increases the chance of survival to over 50%; this is why SADS UK is so passionate about making this lifesaving equipment widely available.”
Karen Fellows, Administrator at Emsworth Community Centre, who undertook the defibrillator training commented; “We’re so fortunate to have been donated such a valuable piece of equipment and to have received professional training. We’ve located the defibrillator in the main reception area, so it is available in an emergency along with the contact names of those who have been through the training as at least one of them should be in the building. We will ensure that our first aid skills are kept up to date with an annual review. Hopefully there will be no need to use the defibrillator, but is great to have the equipment and skills necessary which may help to save a life.”
19 November 2015
Emsworth Community Centre is rated “Outstanding”
Emsworth Community Centre has been recently rated as “outstanding,” in a recent audit by Visible Communities, the independent organisation which evaluates and monitors quality systems and standards for the charity and community sector.
Trisha Bennett, the independent assessor, who audited the Centre commented: “Overall this has been an outstanding review. The majority of the evidence provided has been of a very high standard….the finance section is exemplary demonstrating that the organisation takes this seriously.”
Trisha went on to add; “Equalities is another area that it takes seriously…with excellent health and safety evidence…where safeguarding is clearly a priority. In conclusion an excellent review, which it has been a pleasure to do.” said Trisha.
Alison Angell, from Hampshire County Council, said; “I must congratulate Emsworth Community Association for an excellent report – the best I have seen so far”.
Mike Stott, Chairman of Emsworth Community Association, the local charity that manages Emsworth Community Centre commented: “We’re thrilled to have received such a high accolade, which is a testament to the dedication of our volunteers and staff, who work tirelessly to make the Centre a place for everyone to benefit from.
“As the Community Centre is such a busy place with over 50 different activities a week, we wished to benchmark the Centre against the national pre-VISIBLE principles. The review evaluated the Centre upon the pre-VISIBLE seven core principles, which includes good governance and health and safety, and they reviewed all of our policies and procedures to ensure that the Centre is managed in an effective and compliant way. Having received independent verification that everything is well managed is a real feather in our cap and allows the Association to focus on its charitable aims of serving the local community and providing a safe and secure environment for educational and recreational activities.”
Jean Tier, Secretary and Trustee of Emsworth Community Association also commented; “It is great to know that our policies and evidence has been so well received and that our structures and systems are deemed robust and sustainable for the future, it is a strong platform for us to build on. It has also given us renewed confidence in approaching external funders to support our charitable aims, as an “outstanding” rating will provide grant funders and donors with the confidence that the Association is investing money wisely to support the welfare and development of the people of Emsworth and the surrounding areas.”
Emsworth Community Association
AGM and 40th Birthday Celebration
Wed 15th July 2015
at 7 pm
in the Lumley Room
Everyone is welcome to come along to hear the latest news
Refreshments will be provided
Emsworth Library Decision Reassessed
Hampshire County Council informed Emsworth Community Association (ECA) on Wednesday 10th June 2015, that they had decided not to proceed with the proposed move of the library to the ECA building.
It was an idea originally floated by Hampshire County Council and, although there was initial reluctance on the part of ECA, we decided to fully support the move in the long term interests of our members and the wider Emsworth community.
We have undertaken a considerable amount of work in trying to fit the requirements of a modern library into the Community Centre and we were hopeful that all this work would have resulted in a successful transfer of the library to our building. It was therefore a shock for us to learn that, as a result of costs associated with the move, Hampshire County Council no longer consider Emsworth Community Centre a viable option. This is a set back to the Association and our plans to make the Centre a hub for advice, knowledge, culture and leisure.
Needless to say, along with most Emsworthians, we want a modern functioning library to remain in Emsworth and we will work with Hampshire County Council to ensure that this happens.
If you wish to view Hampshire County Council’s statement please click here.
Building Bulletin, issued April 2015
Update on the current situation regarding future developments at Emsworth Community Centre.
Trustees of Emsworth Community Centre are negotiating with Hampshire County Council (HCC) regarding our proposed building works. Members and regular users of the Community Centre have already been consulted as to what improvements they want and their views, where possible, have been included in the draft plans.
We are now taking the opportunity to consult more widely and asking all Emsworth residents for their views on the proposals and any activities they would like the Centre to provide. This means that you still have time to feed into our building plans before they’re finalised. If you haven’t already done so, please do take a moment to complete the online questionnaire by clicking here.
Alternatively, if you prefer a hardcopy questionnaire to complete, you’ll find them available at the Community Centre or in the Library, as well as in the current edition of The EMS. Completed questionnaire forms can be returned to the Library or to the Community Centre. All named questionnaires will automatically go into our prize draw to win one of five shopping vouchers worth £30 each. Questionnaires should be completed and returned by Friday 8th May 2015.
Plans to improve the Community Centre are being drawn up by H.D. Architects of Emsworth, and these will eventually go to HCC for approval. It had been hoped that work would start during the coming summer, but this is now unlikely as the consultation, collection of detailed information and funding need to be firmed up before building work can proceed.
With regard to the proposed move of the library to the Community Centre, negotiations with HCC are still ongoing and no date has as yet been decided. The trustees aim to see Emsworth Community Centre as a hub offering a wide range of advice, information and activities available to all the residents of Emsworth.
Further information on the building work will be provided via email and in editions of The EMS and on the website. Through these means, Community Centre members, regular users and Emsworth residents will be kept fully informed on time lines for the building work and its likely impact on activities at the Centre.
With best wishes,
21st Jan 2015
Proposed Move of Emsworth Library to Emsworth Community Centre
Following a recommendation from Hampshire County Council’s Director of Culture, Communities and Business Services, the decision to move Emsworth library to the Emsworth Community Centre was confirmed by Hampshire County Council on 19th January 2015. The record of the decision is given below.
The position of the trustees of Emsworth Community Association is that, in order to ensure the future of the library, we hope to be able to agree to site it in the Lounge and half of the Assembly Room. The library will use this space for the time it is normally open, that is 6 mornings, 2 afternoons and Friday evenings. At other times, the space will be available for user groups as library equipment (apart from book shelves along the walls) will be moveable and stored elsewhere.
Whilst we are negotiating with Hampshire County Council, the sustainability of the Emsworth Community Association and the needs of our members and user groups remain the trustees’ top priorities. If, or hopefully when, we reach satisfactory terms with Hampshire County Council, we will be able to confirm the library move to members and users of ECA as well as to local residents.
In addition to, and independent of, the proposed library move, the trustees hope to start work in the summer of 2015 on improving the premises and facilities of the Community Centre. We will keep members and users informed of plans and progress via the website and regular bulletins on our notice boards.
12 January 2015
An update on the current situation regarding co-location of the library and upgrade of the Community Centre was given by Jean Tier, the trustee managing the initial phase of the project, at the recent members’ and helpers’ social event. The update is reproduced below for the benefit of those who were unable to attend the evening.
UPDATE ON LIBRARY CO-LOCATION AND UPGRADE OF ECA PREMISES
It is very unlikely that Hampshire County Council will renew lease on Nile Street in 2018 and it has become clear to our committee that if we do not provide space for the library in the community centre, there will probably be no library at all in Emsworth after 2018.
The library is likely to be sited in the lounge and half of the assembly room with book shelves round the walls and some shelves on wheels in the middle. Opening hours are likely to be the same as now: 6 mornings, 2 afternoons and one evening. Community Centre users will be able to use the space at other times: i.e. Sunday morning, 5 afternoons and 6 evenings, with the wheeled shelving moving into the lounge or store room. A new, sound proof partition and new door into the library will be provided so groups using the east half of the assembly rooms will not be disturbed.
In addition, HCC has offered to install windows in the Mountford rooms in order to make these more attractive for us and the trustees are happy to accept this offer.
It seems likely that Cllr Chapman will recommend moving the library to the community centre at his decision day on 19th January, subject to satisfactory outcome of our ongoing negotiations.
UPGRADE OF ECA PREMISES
As I am sure members know, ECA was successful in achieving £100,000 from HCC to upgrade the premises. On this aspect, we are now moving into the action phase. ECA trustees have appointed an architect, Helyer Davies of Emsworth, who undertook the initial feasibility study. By the end of January we expect also to have appointed a surveyor and a project manager.
We expect to have detailed costs and drawings within a few weeks and to start the building work as soon as possible – hopefully during the summer.
The upgrade will provide new offices and toilets, enlarge the reception area and create a new entrance porch joining the old and new parts of the premises. And none of this depends on decisions about the library.
The cost will be considerably more that the £100,000 we have. We expect to raise much of this extra money from large scale providers such as the lottery. But we will also need to fund raise locally and will be starting this in the near future.
22 October 2014
A Fresh Brew at Emsworth Community Centre
Emsworth Community Association are delighted to have received a donation of ten new Kenwood kettles from Kenwood Ltd of New Lane in Havant. “It is simply great that users of the Community Centre, can now brew-up on for a tea break and enjoy socialising with each other without worrying about whether the kettles will work or leak as they pour. It is also good to be supported by a local trusted brand that will ensure that our users are safe and won’t have to deal with a bad pouring kettles anymore.” Says Rachael Bridger of Emsworth Community Centre.
Children from Glenwood School, were the first group to use the new kettles to serve teas and coffees at their ‘pop-up’ café on Tuesday afternoons. “It is great boost for the children’s confidence to get real work experience whilst serving teas and coffees and to have access to the new kettles makes the job a lot easier for them.” Says Sue Woodhouse, Co-ordinator of Work Related Learning at Glenwood School.
23 July 2014
AN OPEN LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF EMSWORTH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (ECA)
re Proposed developments at Emsworth Community Centre
You may be concerned at new plans for developing Emsworth Community Centre which include the possibility of moving Emsworth Library to our premises. I write to let you know the current situation as we see it.
Perhaps you have already seen the leaflet, “A New Location for Emsworth Library?” produced by Hampshire County Council. In it, HCC outline their reasons for asking Emsworth Community Association to consider sharing our premises with the library. The current location of the library, though convenient for users, is expensive to rent and HCC needs to make large savings – the library service budget has already been cut by £3 million and more cuts are on the way.
For some time Emsworth library staff have sought alternative premises but have not found anywhere central and suitable. With new technology, libraries are changing and location within a community centre is an option which works well in other areas.
ECA leases our premises from HCC who, earlier this year, awarded us £100,000 to upgrade the buildings. We also asked for a rent review which has resulted in HCC seeking to transfer the premises to our ownership. So currently, the ECA committee is negotiating with HCC on three topics: upgrade of the premises, inclusion of the library and transfer of ownership.
The possible inclusion of the library is the most contentious of these issues and we are fortunate to have the help of three councillors, Colin Mackey and Brendan Gibb-Gray (both Havant BC) and Ray Bolton (Hampshire CC) to assist us during the negotiations. The following factors are the guiding the ECA committee in our negotiations concerning the possibility of accommodating the library:
- We did not seek the library move but, as HCC owns the ECA premises, we have no option but to see if we can make it work.
- We have some doubts about whether the space which we are able to make available, will adequately accommodate the library and community centre, both of which are heavily used.
- The plan shown on the HCC consultation document is preliminary and changes are certain to be made during and after the consultation period.
- The ECA Council of Management will seek to ensure that the appropriate needs and wishes of its members and user-groups are met as a first priority.
To view HCC’s proposals in detail please click on this link. Printed copies of the proposal are available from the Community Centre and from Emsworth Library. Please send your comments direct to the library.
If you wish to write or email ECA separately, please do so. Please note that during the summer holidays, the office will only be open on Mondays and Wednesdays but you can post comments through the letter box in the Church Path door.
I wish to stress that our negotiations with HCC are at a preliminary stage but I hope that this letter provides you with assurance that we intend to maintain our vibrant community centre in the heart of Emsworth. Finally, please note that the future plans for Emsworth Community Centre will come before a Special General Meeting of the Association at which all people who use the community centre and are also members of the Association will have a vote.
Piano kindly donated by Mrs and Mrs Joyce (left) with Emsworth Community Association Chairman Mike Stott.
Mr Alan and Mrs Francis Joyce have generously donated their superb piano to Emsworth Community Centre. The Zender upright piano has a great tone that resonates well in larger spaces, so it has been given pride of place in the Lumley Room, where it is played regularly by the various musical, social and dance groups who appreciate having lovely piano music to accompany them.
Joint Press Release: 23rd April 2014
Hampshire County Council and Emsworth Community Association
Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Recreation and Countryside, Councillor Keith Chapman, said: “As we continue to move the County’s Library and Information Service into a strong position for the future, we want to move away from having libraries in stand alone buildings and relocate them into vibrant community hubs where appropriate.
Officers have identified a potential opportunity for relocating Emsworth Library to the Community Association building in North Street, Emsworth. These are just preliminary investigations we want to explore.
“Emsworth Library is currently located in a leasehold building so a move would bring about a much needed saving on rent as we look to deliver more with less money. I must stress, the investigation is at a very early stage and should the move look as though it would be a viable option, not only for the Library with a potential increase in service, but for the loyal and dedicated users, a public consultation would take place before any final decision is made.”
Emsworth Community Association is happy to work with Hampshire County Council to ensure that, at a time when many libraries are closing, there will continue to be a library in the heart of Emsworth. The management committee had anticipated starting building work to improve the Community Centre this summer but this will now be put on hold until a decision regarding the library is made.
£100K Grant Awarded – March 2014
Emsworth Community Centre are delighted to announce that Hampshire County Council have awarded the Association with £100,000 towards upgrading the premises to meet the future needs of the local community. The Association will use this funding to apply for additional grants to meet the total value of the buildings work required.