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    Sorry: still no parties. But we do have slots available for new regular user groups or classes.

    Well, it’s the beginning of September, and things are slowly starting to get back to a slightly strange kind of normality – socially distanced and with a lot of extra cleaning, hand-sanitizing, and so on. Most of our user groups and classes have now resumed or will be doing so over the coming few weeks.

    Unfortunately, owing to the ongoing restrictions on parties and larger scale social events, please note I’m afraid we’re not currently able to take bookings for parties and other one-off events of that nature. Sorry to disappoint – we have had a large number of requests, but the current rules, regulations and enhanced safety and cleaning requirements, mean it’s just not practical or cost-effective for us to open up the premises for one-off parties at present, even where we are allowed to. And we’re not allowed to in some circumstances.

    We’ve also been inundated with new hire requests from classes and groups who have not been able to resume at their former, pre-pandemic venues. We do still have availability for new user groups wishing to run long-term classes or activities at the Centre – especially in our light, airy, upstairs hall. So please get in touch if you have a class, club, society or other group or activity you would like to run, and we will do our best to help you out.

     

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    We are ‘Covid-secure’ and open to groups

    In line with the latest government guidance, the Centre has now largely reopened for user groups – although there are still some activities which are not allowed, such as indoor live performances.

    We’ve taken all the steps set out in the government guidance to make the Centre a ‘Covid-safe’ environment: hand sanitiser stations, an enhanced cleaning regime and materials, social distancing signage throughout, limits on the numbers of people in different rooms within the building, a full risk assessment, and so on.

    We’ve also introduced a short set of Covid-related rules which every group wishing to resume activities must follow. Most importantly this includes the requirement for each group to keep names and contact details of attendees at each session (and retain for three weeks); to carry out a risk assessment specifically relating to the group’s activities; and to put in place a protocol for maintaining social distancing within the group’s activities.

    Beyond this, owing to restrictions on numbers and some ambiguity in the guidelines, we’re currently unable to take bookings for one-off lettings such as parties and weddings. We hope to be able to do so once the situation becomes clearer over coming weeks.

    We do however have availability for new user groups wishing to run activities at the Centre, so please get in touch if you have a class, club, society or other group or activity you would like to run.

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    Coronavirus update, June 3 2020

    The Centre is now partially re-open by arrangement only. Bluebells, our resident pre-school, recommenced on Monday this week, in line with the Government’s policy on re-opening nursery provision where possible.

    Otherwise, the Centre currently remains closed for indoor group activities and meetings – although it seems possible that restrictions may change over the coming few weeks. We will update users accordingly.

    Until we know when mass public gatherings will once again be allowed, we’re obviously unable to deal with enquiries / take bookings for one-off hires for birthday parties, events, wedding receptions, etc.

    In the meantime, we have carried out a formal risk assessment and have put in place as many anti-Covid-19 hygiene and safety measures as practically possible. We’ve also instituted an enhanced daily cleaning regime. We will provide further updates as and when the Government guidance changes and the situation evolves.

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    The Centre is now closed for the duration of the current public health emergency

    As part of the latest government lockdown restrictions announced yesterday, community centres have now been officially ordered to close. So we’re now closed for the duration of the current public health emergency. We’ll be regularly checking the premises for security and safety reasons, and Croydon Council’s security patrol team will be making periodic visits too.

    This is a sad chapter in the 85 year history of the Centre, but we’re not alone. Everyone’s in the same boat. Let’s hope for a speedy resolution of the crisis. In the meantime, we wish all our users and the wider community well, and hope that everyone stays safe and healthy. When this is over, we’ll still be here, ready to serve the community with our rooms and facilities, for the purposes of education, training, sport, recreation, arts, culture, social enterprise and community development. We’ll be needing all those things more than ever, once this horrible time has passed.

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    Coronavirus update 21 March 2020

    You’ll have seen the latest Government instructions on closure of venues for public gatherings. Technically speaking, community centres haven’t yet been named as venues which must close to groups. Nor have we received any such instruction from Croydon Council, which owns the Centre. For all practical purposes however, there’s no difference between getting a group of people together in a gym, restaurant, bar, or leisure centre (all now banned), and getting a group of people together in a community centre. It’s clearly the wrong thing to do given the extreme public health emergency we find ourselves in. Gathering in groups has been declared a danger to health as it facilitates the spread of the virus, and will ultimately result in more infections, more pressure on hospitals, and more deaths.

    To the best of our knowledge, almost all groups and classes at the Centre have now voluntarily ceased in any case. We’ll continue to keep the Centre cleaned, secure, and will use this opportunity to progress some outstanding maintenance work. If individual keyholders need access to equipment etc., or for specific purposes not involving group meetings, that’s fine. But we must now request that from tonight, no further group meetings or activities take place until the wider Coronavirus restrictions are lifted. It’s miserable, but it’s for our own good, and for the health and wellbeing of the community as a whole. As things stand, that’s all that really matters right now. Please stay safe and well.

     

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    CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

    At present, we are operating the Centre as usual, although paying extra attention to cleaning, and making sure we have plentiful supplies of strong soap and paper towels available for users. If we receive instructions from the government or the local authority that we need to restrict the size or frequency of gatherings, or, worst case, shut completely for a period, then we will notify regular users and occasional hirers as quickly as we can. Obviously we hope these measures will not prove necessary, but it’s a fast-moving situation and we have to follow any guidance that is issued to us. If closure or restrictions become necessary, then we, the community centre association, will issue affected user groups and hirers with a corresponding credit for any period of closure or disruption to classes or private events. More info as and when we’re told any more.

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    We have a new handyman

    Just to update: we have now been working with our new maintenance man, Adam, for several months, and he’s doing a great job for the Centre. So we’re not currently looking for anyone else to take on minor maintenance and decorating tasks, but thank you to those who have recently shown an interest in providing this service. Our fault for not updating this feed more regularly. Sorry about that.

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    We are looking for a handyman (or woman). Please get in touch.

    Anyone know a reliable handyman (or woman)? We’re looking for someone to do occasional / odd jobs at Coulsdon Community Centre, as sadly, Keith, our regular handyman has had to retire following a serious illness. Tasks range from replacing broken loo seats and fixing loose door handles, to replacing fluorescent tubes, repairing running gear on curtains, and putting together flat pack furniture. Some decoration (mainly retouching scratches and scrapes) and occasional bits and pieces of carpentry also required. Nothing too technical or arduous. Probably amounting to a couple of days a month on average – but jobs tend to be as and when required. An hour or two here or there mostly. Sometimes longer jobs. It would suit a retired person with a reasonable level of DIY skills and own tools! We’re happy to pay a competitive hourly rate.

    If you’re interested – or know anyone that might be suitable – please drop an email to our part-time administrator, Janice, at coulsdoncom@yahoo.com

    Thank you.

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    Centre and site development update – March 2018

    As you may know by now, Croydon Council’s arms-length development company, Brick by Brick Ltd, has now gained planning permission from the council to move ahead with related schemes to redevelop the existing Coulsdon Community Centre site for new housing, and to redevelop the old Smitham Junior School site (in the town centre), to provide a new, improved community centre facility.

    What does this mean for us?

    In the long term, we expect to get a bigger and better community centre, with an extra function room, and a new-build main hall – fully accessible, energy efficient, and central to the area.
    At present, nothing will change in the short term. The agreement with Brick by Brick Ltd, is that the new community centre will be completed to the agreed plan and specification, and only then will we, Coulsdon Community Centre Association, together with all our operations, equipment and user groups, relocate to the new site and buildings. Once we have vacated the existing site, it will then be redeveloped. We therefore anticipate that the move will take place mid – late 2019, but obviously much depends on the pace of work, and getting all the necessary final agreements in place.

    We now need to work closely with the architects, surveyors, and with Brick by Brick Ltd., to finalise the detailed plans for the new centre, and to agree the lease and contract that will form the basis of our occupation. In the meantime, we continue operating as usual, on the site we’ve known and loved for the last 83 years.

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    Developments on developments

    Well, as you may have heard, Croydon Council have come up with a cunning plan to build houses on our existing community centre site, and relocate the Centre to a new facility in the town centre (on the site of the old Smitham Junior School, sometimes called the CALAT site). Now there may be certain advantages to this proposal, including new, improved facilities and more space. Or there may not. We’re engaging with the council, their development company and the architects, to consider all the options, and to make sure that any scheme that does go forward (and there’s no guarantee it will) meets the needs of all our many user groups and the wider community.

    If – and it’s a big if – we feel we can reach an accommodation on a scheme and a deal which we feel able to recommend to our users, then we’ll make sure everybody knows about it and is happy with it.

    If we can’t, then we will vigorously defend our right to stay exactly where we are, and to continue operating very successfully as we have been for many years. We’ll keep you posted.

    Please be aware that even if an agreement can be reached, it’s likely to be around two years before any new, improved community centre would be built, up and running. During which time we would, of course, continue operating from our current site. Watch this space for more news. Or contact us at the Centre if you have any particular issues or concerns about this that you would like to discuss. Thank you.

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