Page Image

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a dilapidated Victorian former school building is now a welcoming community hub and some derelict outbuildings have been replaced by an energy-efficient annexe offering an additional 200 m2 of flexible space.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 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

Member Photo

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.

Member Photo


Alison Saunders is the Centre Finance Coordinator since 2002 and has over ten years experience of voluntary sector finance management, including both financial and management accounting. 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 Linda Bell, the former Centre Director, in her absence. Alison is also a qualified graphic designer with marketing and publication management experience.

Member Photo


Rennie Williams
Rennie Williams is the Cleaner and Caretaker at the centre since 2000. Rennie worked for Cadbury for many years as a packer and cleaner until early retirement in in 2000. During his time at Cadbury he undertook training in COSHH regulations, Safety Awareness, Food Hygiene and Cleaning. Rennie takes pride in his job and enjoys providing our users with a friendly service.

Xeena Cooper
Xeena works as a part time Caretaker at the Centre,as well as helping at our other events all year round. The rest of her time she works as a Communtiy Artist using creativity to bring communities together.
Her recent project was leading Our Rough Island Story supporting a team of volunteers to help us learn about the history of the Community Centre a Century ago. You can find out more about her work by visiting

Rachel Kane
Rachel is on the admin team at the Community Centre and has just returned after maternity leave. She has worked in a variety of roles including film locations, government department and language schools. She is now very happy to be working in her local community.

Amy Cairns
Amy is an administrator at the Community Centre and you may meet her on the front desk when you visit. She also runs our popular free course Raking & Baking which teaches local people how to grow seasonal vegetables and cook fresh healthy meals. Amy has a degree in English Literature and has professional experience in Digital Marketing, Copywriting and Social Media. In her spare time Amy volunteers on organic farms, reads books, plays the ukulele and enjoys wild swimming.

Sophie Higgs 
Sophie is a part time finance assistant at the Centre and does a similar role at St George's concert hall. Sophie is looking forward to dancing with her own 60s dance group at picnic in the park later this year. She also loves everything Bristol has to offer from the great cycle routes into the countryside, the vibrant music scene and all the festivals and events that pop up around the city throughout the year.  

Member Photo


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.

Member Photo


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

Member Photo


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 

Member Photo


LYN PORTER is the Chair of St Werburghs Community Association and is also, on the Board of Asian Arts Agency and Ponita – the charitable arm of People of Note choir that she sings with. In addition Lyn helps to manage a Bhangra band called RSVP so is keeping very busy. Before she retired in 2007 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. She is still involved but in a different capacity now.

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 media world.

ARIANA AHMADI is the Vice Chair. She has joined the Board of St Werburghs Community Association in December 2014. She has been a St Werburghs resident all her life and she is currently working as Administrator at the Addiction Recovery Agency. Being very local she knows the Centre very well as her family have been booking private parties here all her life. She likes sewing and organising events. We can't wait to involve her in planning next years Picnic in the Park.

DEREK SEALY was the Vice Chair of the St Werburghs Community Association until December 2015 and has been involved since the beginnings of the Centre in 1972. Derek is Chair and Treasurer of the Barbados & Caribbean Friends Association. He is also involved with the Black Communities Education Support Group. His expertise, knowledge and commitment have been invaluable for many years. He also has a wide management experience in specification of buildings, plant and equipment.

FRIDA MALIK joined the board of St Werburghs Community Association in 2014. She is the Manager of Khaas, a charity supporting BME disabled children and their families.  Frida has been involved in the Centre the last 15 years, as Khaas has been based in the Centre since 1987! Khaas is an organisation that provides services to BME children with special needs, their siblings and their families. Privately Frida is a mother of four children and she fosters, currently having three children placed with her.

FABIA JEDDERE-FISHER is the Treasurer of St Werburghs Community Association.  Fabia s a chartered engineer working at Uuniversity of the West of England, responsible for energy management across all campuses at UWE, covering over 500 electricity, gas and water meters, and managing a £5m budget for utilities. She joined the board in December 2015. Fabia is a local resident, passionate about the community and is keen to bring her expertise and enthusiasm to the St Werburghs Community Centre board of trustees.

HEATHER MURRAY is a local resident with over 15 years’ experience working as Legal Secretary before she joined our team as Administrator. She is a Social Media Manager and a Marketing student at UWE now and owns an event company, which often supports charitable activities, such as Festive Friends, a free annual Christmas Meal for isolated older people. Her skills include fundraising, public relations, business management, events, community engagement, marketing, media and administration. She has good contacts in her legal world and can type really fast.

TUNDE AGORO has a background in architecture, environmental engineering and sustainable development. Together with over ten years experience in the building design and construction industry, Tunde is an associate with Hoare Lea taking a lead on sustainable strategies and environmental assessments. 

DEBBIE CLOUGH is a long-time Bristol resident and has been working alongside St Werburghs Community Centre since 1989 in her community development role with Bristol City Council. Debbie is now enjoying her retirement in Bristol soaking up the cultural highlights of the city including films, theatre and live music. She is interested in helping the Community Centre in the areas of community engagement, project development and fundraising.  

CHRIS CLEMENT works as an engineer for wind farms, with previous experience in the IT industry. His passion is for environmental conservation and has volunteered for conservation groups, city farms and charities in the past. Chris loves hiking and making his home more energy efficient.



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