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About St Werburghs Community Association

SWCA was established in 1972 as a membership organisation to co-manage the community centre. In 1999 SWCA was incorporated as a registered charity (no. 1074495) and a registered company limited by guarantee (no. 3713212) and took over responsibility for the management of the community centre from Bristol City Council.

In 2009-2010 we completed our Capital Project. As a result, a dilapidated Victorian former school building is now a welcoming community hub and some derelict outbuildings have been replaced by an energy-efficient annexe offering an additional 200 m2 of flexible space. The project was financed by £1,05 million grant from the Community Assets Programme.  Bristol City Council fully supported us in the bid, installed a new roof and windows and granted a 35-year lease on ‘peppercorn’ rent.

Since then both, the use of our Centre and our income from bookings, have doubled. We have 226 active member groups, which run activities that benefit the community and use the Centre on regular basis, in comparison to 98 we had in 2008. We recorded 77,000 individual visits to the Centre last year.

We have achieved Visible Communities award in 2010, the Community Venue of the Year Voscur Award in 2013 and Green Tourism Silver award in 2016.

All our office spaces are let and we created two more converting our storerooms last year to accommodate the demand. In September 2016 we created a café within the Centre.

SWCA prides itself in being one of the most inclusive organisations in the city. We ensure that there is cultural understanding and mutual respect in our venue and will continue to educate, and build platforms for knowledge sharing and building stronger communities.

We run and support projects within the Centre that enable the most isolated and disadvantaged local people to participate in a group activity, gain new skills, build confidence and cope better in everyday life. We host over 30 affordable weekly classes and support groups, which improve people’s health and wellbeing.
If you are interested in becoming involved with this busy, forward-looking Community Centre you will be pleased to know that we are currently recruiting new trustees and you can download more information here.

St Werburghs is managed by a great team of friendly and dedicated people. Get to know them here!

Goska Ong

Goska Ong is the Centre Director at the St Werburghs Centre. Goska has a Master's Degree in Social Anthropology and specialises in formation and development of cultural places in cities. She also studied Economics and Business Organisation and has experience of managing business at change. Goska understands the challenges of multicultural environment and she manages the Centre’s staff, projects and events. She is dedicated to further development of the Centre and its Members. She is based in the main reception office and you can contact her on

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Rachel Clark

Rachel Clark is the Office Manager/Centre Co-ordinator at St Werburghs Centre managing the bookings system and events. She has a lot of experience in project management, events and administration. She has a degree in Photography and in her spare time makes films for local musicians and businesses. She also likes to scuba dive, dance the samba and attend yoga classes. She is thrilled to be supporting her local community in her role.

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Alison Saunders

Alison Saunders has worked here since 2002 and is the Finance & HR manager. She has over 20 years of experience in voluntary sector financial management. She has a range of skills including payroll, VAT, financial policy development, and well developed IT proficiency – she is also trained in full charity accounts preparation and charity independent examinations. Alison has been Capital Project finance manager and has deputised for the former Centre Director, in her absence. She has undertaken training with Sayer Vincent, KPMG and the Associate of Independent Examiners in order to develop her skills. Alison has a degree in Fine Art and is a qualified graphic designer with marketing and publication management experience.

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Rachel Kane

Rachel Kane is the Digital Marketing & Communications Officer at St Werburghs Community Centre. She creates content, keeps St Werburghs up to date in the digital world and spreads the word on all the great things that happen here.  For all marketing and communications matters, you can contact Rachel on

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We regularly work with the European Placement Network to place international students at the Centre to learn about each element of how we run for periods of 3-6 months and shorter term business and administration students for 6 weeks with City of Bristol College.

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The Management Committee and Staff of the St Werburghs Centre are fully committed to the recruitment and support of volunteers within our organisation. We hold the belief that volunteers can provide a variety of skills and experience that would not otherwise be available. We also recognise that volunteers require satisfying work and personal development and will seek to help our volunteers to meet these needs.
To find out more please download our Volunteer Policy.

If you would like to get involved and make a difference in your community please contact Goska Ong on 0117 955 1351 or e-mail

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St Werburghs Centre are recruiting volunteers to help us with lots of different role. These include helping with the Community Centre's website, organising events, and volunteers for our reception desk. If you are interested please get in touch by email or call 0117 955 1351. You can also download a volunteer form here 

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ARIANA AHMADI is Chair. Ariana was born in St Werburghs and has been a resident most of her life, she is passionate about the area and what the community has to offer. Ariana has seen how the demographic and needs of the community have changed over the years and is keen for the Centre to reflect communities needs. She and her family have been using the Centre for many years, from Jujitsu to private functions, which have inspired her to get more involved with the Centre by becoming a trustee in 2015. Ariana has worked in the voluntary sector for six years working primarily with vulnerable adults: supporting them to improve their lives and make more informed choices. Some of her skills include an up to date knowledge of mental health. housing, addiction and recovery services. She also has training in business skills and is organised and approachable. Ariana is keen to ensure that marginalised and underrepresented groups are advocated for when making decisions the Centre.

DR GRAHAM BOTTRILL is Vice-Chair. He is a lifelong educator having spent over 40 years in special education as a teacher, headteacher, and education manager, one half in prison education and the other working with teenagers in the Care of Local authority. He has remained committed to the interests of those least valued by society by helping them to increase their self-confidence and self-esteem, and so empower themselves.
Before re-joining in 2019, Graham was on the Management Committee at SWCA from 1992 until 2012, having been the Treasurer for three years and Chair for thirteen years. Graham is now Chair of Adult Literacy Charity, Read Easy Bristol, and his continuing interest in politics and Literature leads him to write his own novels as well.   

LYN PORTER is the former Chair of St Werburghs Community Association, she has been a Board member since retiring in 2007. Before she retired Lyn was employed by Bristol City Council where her role as Investment and Grants Manager involved working with many Voluntary Sector organisations across the City. Lyn is also a trustee on the Board of the Bristol Older People's Forum. She still keeps up her links with the Voluntary Sector in Bristol and is also on the Board of Asian Arts Agency. Asian Arts in its many forms being a particular interest of hers. 

ROY HACKETT has been on the management board for over 45 years. He is also a management member of Bristol Racial Equality Council, Bristol West Indian Parents and Friends Association and Bristol Community Growth and Support Association. As an ex Residential Social Worker, Roy has extensive experience of dealing with race-related issues and strong personnel skills. He is also a well-known and appreciated local hero with good connections in the media world.

FABIA JEDDERE-FISHER is the Treasurer of St Werburghs Community Association.  Fabia is a chartered engineer working as a Senior Lecturer in Building Services and Energy Engineering at the University of the West of England. She joined the board in December 2015. Fabia is a local resident and parent; passionate about the community and is keen to bring her expertise and enthusiasm to the St Werburghs Community Centre board of trustees.

TUNDE AGORO is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and Sustainability Consultant with a thorough grasp and understanding of sustainability which spans over 10 years of hands-on experience in the building design and construction industry. Tunde is an External Industrial tutor at the Welsh School of Architecture and University of Bath where he sits on the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering's Industrial Liaison Panel. 

DEBBIE CLOUGH is a long-time Bristol resident who first worked at St Werburghs Community Centre with local people and centre users in 1989, in her community development role for Bristol City Council. During this time the Centre's Management Committee took on responsibility for managing the building as a flourishing resource for local people. She went on to work as a community worker across the city for another 25 years. Debbie is now enjoying her retirement in Bristol with its theatre, arts and live music. She is pleased to support the Community Centre again, this time as a Trustee.  

MICHAEL LLOYD-JONES arrived in Bristol in 2010 to study MSc in International relations and stayed to support Bristol Pound in its earliest stages. He has been a resident of St Werburghs for 4 years. Passionate about social, business, local and community-led sustainable economic development, renewable energy, cycling, football, making the world a better place. 

VANETTA SPENCE is the Principal at May Park Primary School and has worked as a teacher in the local community for 16 years. As a local parent and resident, Vanetta is keen to support St Werburghs Community Centre as she believes that it is a vital part of our community. 

THOMAS YOUNGMAN loves living in St Werburghs and his favourite spots are the Mound, down by the river in Mina Road Park and, of course, the Community Centre! He uses the Centre weekly with Red Notes Socialist Choir.  As a trustee, he will be contributing his expertise in community engagement, team building, public policy and social economics.



St Werburghs Centre is recruiting volunteers to help us with various and exciting projects – including photography, writing the community newsletter, co-ordination for the Community Centre's website, organising workshops, events and volunteering at our reception desk.

The Management Committee and Staff of the St Werburghs Centre are fully committed to the recruitment and support of volunteers within our organisation.

We hold the belief that volunteers can provide a variety of skills and experience that would not otherwise be available. We also recognise that volunteers require satisfying work and personal development and will seek to help our volunteers to meet these needs.
To find out more please download our Volunteer Policy.

If you would like to get involved and make a difference in your community please contact us on 0117 955 1351 or e-mail
Volunteer role: General Assistant - Reception

We need somebody who is interested in all aspects of running a busy community centre, and who is happy to work a regular shift. They will be working with the office staff and the caretakers to provide a welcoming environment for our users, helping where necessary with the day to day running of the centre. We are looking for someone who is willing to stay for a while.

This includes:
  • Setting up rooms for our users – organising furniture, flip charts and other equipment. Some cleaning may be needed.   
  • Showing visitors and users around the centre. We regularly get people who want to look at the building to see if it is suitable for their activities.
  • Looking after the centre notice boards, they need regular updating and tidying.
  • Ensuring that the areas outside of the centre are tidy. This includes looking after our plants.
  • Preparing refreshments for user groups. This includes shopping for tea, coffee and biscuits and setting them out, washing up used cups etc.
  • Helping office staff with general office duties including photocopying, sorting out stationary supplies, shredding documents
  • Helping the caretaker with furniture and equipment for any events that the centre may hold.

Person Specification:
Applicants should be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to have drive and enthusiasm and be able to deal with the public in a tactful, friendly and sensitive manner.
We need somebody who enjoys working in a busy environment, can organise and prioritise their own workload, and is proactive.
We don’t accept CVs. To apply please e-mail Goska Ong, Centre Director or phone 0117 9551351