Changes to Room Hire Pricing & Membership Structure

We would like to make the wider community aware that, after much consideration, we have made changes to our room hire pricing and our membership structure. We understand that any adjustment to rates can be met with concern, and we want to assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly and is essential for the continued sustainability of our Community Centre in the current financial climate.

After thorough evaluation, we have decided to implement the following changes:

1. Membership Tiers: We will be updating our membership scheme, introducing two-tier booking fees based on annual income.  If you have current bookings with us, you will be emailed separately to confirm your tier and new fees.

2. Increase in Room Hire Rates: We have updated our Room Hire Rates across all the rooms available at the Centre in line with their capacity and functionality. We have attached our facilities brochure for reference. A full list of new rates is below:

3. Booking Slot Changes: We will be introducing some adjustments to booking slots. Any new bookings will now have a minimum 2-hour slot requirement, and for children’s parties there will be a minimum 4-hour slot requirement.

 

4. Tenants Office Rents: There will be 15% increase in office rents for tenants.

 

These changes will come into effect from June 1st 2024 for all existing bookings that have not yet been invoiced. We understand that this may require some adjustments on your end, and we appreciate your cooperation in this transition.

These changes are necessary to ensure the continued success and growth of our Community Centre. Your ongoing support is invaluable to us, and we remain committed to providing you with the best possible service and facilities.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

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    Thank you and Goodbye to Neck of the Woods Café

    It is with both a heavy heart and a hopeful spirit that we share the news that, after seven wonderful years of serving as a heart for our community, Neck of the Woods Café will be closing its doors at the end of this month. We want to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to Murilo and his incredible team for their dedication, passion, and tireless efforts in making Neck of the Woods the beloved establishment it has become.

    From its humble beginnings to its status as a cornerstone of our community, Neck of the Woods has always been more than just a café. It has been a place where friendships were forged and ideas were exchanged. Murilo and his team have not only served delicious cakes and beverages, but they have also cultivated a space that embodies the very essence of community spirit and ethical values.

    As we bid farewell to Neck of the Woods, we also look toward the future with optimism and excitement. While this chapter may be coming to a close, we are committed to ensuring that our community continues to have a welcoming gathering place to call its own. In the coming months, we will be actively consulting with you, the members of our community, as well as the loyal patrons of the café, to explore alternative options and possibilities for the space.

    We wish Murilo and the team the best for the future and thank them once again for making Neck of the Woods Café the extraordinary place that it is.

     

    St Werburghs Cafe Consultation

    With the closure of Neck of the Woods, we are hopeful that we will be ableto continue to offer a community space that suits the needs of St Werburghs.

    To help us make an informed decision, please take a minute to answer this anonymous short survey.

     

    Thank you!

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      Empowering Women Through Yoga: Gladey’s Journey

      For the past 15 years, St Werburghs Community Centre has been home to Gladey, a remarkable yoga teacher whose journey intertwines with the very essence of motherhood, self-discovery, and empowerment. We sat down with her for a chat and to learn more about her story.  

      Gladey was introduced to yoga during an adventurous trip to India when she was just 18 years old. However, it wasn’t until she embraced motherhood, particularly during her third pregnancy, that yoga became part of her life, becoming a source of solace and strength. 

      “Yoga is like medicine for the mind and soul,” Gladey reflects over a cup of tea, “It brought me calmness and centeredness during the chaotic journey of motherhood. It enabled me to be a better mother for my children.” 

      What sets Gladey’s classes apart is not just the asanas or poses but the holistic approach she adopts. Her yoga  sessions are trauma-informed, providing a safe space for individuals to explore their emotions and express themselves freely. Through singing and movement workshops, she encourages her students to delve deep into their authentic selves, fostering a sense of self-love and acceptance. 

      Gladey teaches classes that are open to people of all genders, but driven by her lived experiences as a mother and her profound connection with yoga, Gladey found her calling in working specifically with women and mothers. Her women-focused sessions have become a sanctuary for women of diverse backgrounds, ages, and beliefs, reflecting the rich tapestry of Bristol itself. 

      “We engage all the senses – from music to scent – to enhance the mind-body experience. It’s about creating a nurturing environment where women can truly connect with themselves and embrace their uniqueness”, Gladey explains. 

      “I’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative power of yoga,” Gladey shares warmly. “It’s not just about physical postures; it’s about nurturing the mind, body, and spirit. My aim is to lift women up, to help them reconnect with their inner strength and sensuality.” 

      Over the years, Gladey’s classes have not only empowered countless people to take up the practice but have also inspired some of her students to become yoga teachers themselves. One of them even runs her own postnatal mum and baby yoga classes at the centre.  Her impact transcends the yoga mat, radiating outwards into the community, fostering a culture of support and growth. 

      Gladey’s journey reflects the ethos of inclusivity and empowerment we like to foster at St Werbughs Community Centre. It’s a reminder that within the walls of community centres like this, magic happens – where diverse groups come together, where individuals find their voices, and where lives are transformed, one yoga class at a time. 

      Gladey’s Classes  

      Hatha Yoga with Gladey (all genders) – Mondays 9.30am – 10.30am. £10 per class.  

      Shakti Yoga for Women of All Ages & In Pregnancy – Thursdays 7.30pm – 8.30pm. £10 per class.  

      For more information contact Gladey on 07505 353390 or yogagladey@gmail.com.

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        Roots of Resilience: Saving Community Spaces

        St Werburghs Community Centre has joined other Bristol Community Organisations in the city-wide campaign ‘Roots of Resilience: Saving Community Spaces’. This campaign calls for urgent action to enhance Bristol’s shared spaces and create better protection from the many threads they face, securing their longevity.

        This week, 16 community organisations, including ours, launched the campaign ahead of a silver motion being raised at full council on Tuesday 12th March 2024.

        The manifesto launched as part of the campaign calls on Bristol City Council to take urgent and transformative action to protect and enhance our shared spaces for the benefit of our communities, urging the council to follow a scrutiny enquiry and adopt a positive stance towards asset transfer and community management.

        We have a big opportunity for positive and long term in Bristol, and to set a precedent for the rest of the country on this issue which is present in many cities and communities. As councils are faced with financial scrutiny, the campaign highlights the need for the process underpinning decisions on council-owned buildings to reflect their importance as the connecting fabric of our communities.

        The One City Plan already recognises the positive impact of sustainable community anchor organisations, and places an emphasis on the importance of communities having a role in managing their own spaces. The Plan calls for a doubling of these facilities by 2040 – a goal which is only achievable through the changes outlined in the manifesto.

        Details of the proposals can be found in the full Manifesto, which you can access in the link below, but these focus on the following actions, around facilitating community-ownership and ensuring the perspectives of communities are heard during decision-making processes:

        • Review the Community Asset Transfer (CAT) process, to enable more community organisations to consider this route.
        • Adopt a target and strategy for increasing the number of community owned assets, in line with the One City Plan.
        • Delegate leadership for community assets to a member of cabinet or committee, recognizing the sector’s role across council departments.
        • Delegate authority to officer level to award CAT leases, for 95 years, when these are up for renewal.
        • Include representation from Neighbourhoods and Committees in the CAT decision-making committees.
        • Create a framework for protection and disposal of council owned assets, including creating a new ‘community’ asset class which prioritises preservation of community spaces.
        • Implement a fair rent structure which recognises the social and investment benefits of community-owned assets.
        • Develop a capital investment strategy for organisations with CAT leases.

         

        By incorporating the asks set out in this manifesto, Bristol’s councillors can demonstrate a model of positive cooperation and community ownership and management which works for all our communities.

        The campaign is collecting testimonies, thoughts and feelings about what community spaces mean to people from our communities, if you have a sentence or two to share, please add it in the comments, or use the hashtag #CommunityRoots to support our campaign.

         

        Click here to read the full Manifesto ‘Roots of Resilience: Saving Community Spaces’. 

         

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          Thank you Feeding Bristol for supporting St Werburghs Foodshare!

          Feeding Bristol is a local organisation that works towards everyone in the city to have access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food; be empowered with the skills and knowledge to eat healthily; and live within a thriving and just local food system.

          We are very pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing funding through Feeding Bristol* for our St Werburghs Foodshare.

          St Werburghs Foodshare supports families in the local area by providing them with food parcels and other weekly necessities. With food and energy prices rising, food poverty in Bristol is only predicted to increase and the families using the service are more in need than ever of the resources we provide.

          The Foodshare service supplies 2 full bags of filling and nutritious food to families each week, as well as essential cleaning and sanitary items worth roughly £20. There is a choice for families to help themselves to our ‘shop’ in order to give individuals a greater choice and give more suitable range of foods for their families.  Each week families can make an optional £3 donation towards their bags to help with the sustainability of the project.

          We have many single parent families but also a fair number with a large number of children. We spoke with the families recently and:

          • 100% of members said the project helped their mood/happiness;
          • 89% said they felt less isolated;
          • 94% said this had improved their wellbeing, including their health.

          With increased pressure on families with the recession and cost of living crisis, we have seen a steady increased uptake since October, with at least one family signing up per week plus referrals from other struggling food support services. We have found, especially after Christmas, our numbers have seen a sharp increase in the past few weeks. We are very conscious that we remain fair and able to give the first to the last person though our doors the same service and amount of food and toiletries. This become harder when there are more people than you had anticipated within a week.

          We know that having access to this project has taken away some of the stress that these families face. Currently, the project benefits from food from Fareshare, the Community Farm just outside Bristol and we buy key items from supermarkets. In turn, by increasing the access to local food the projects plays a role in helping to reduce food waste in the city.

          With this extra funding, we can ensure that there is always a back stock of food that can be given out even if our fresh food has run out or massively reduced. Ensuring that no person goes hungry that week.

          If your children attend a local school and you are struggling with money you can sign up to the Foodshare by emailing office@stwerburghs.org.uk or calling 0117 955 1351. We ask for a £3 suggested donation each week for the service.

           

          How you can help

          Our Foodshare launch was made possible through the generous support of Burges Salmon, for which we are incredibly grateful. However we do now rely on the continued support of our community. Here’s how you can help:

          • Donate food and essentials: donations of non-perishable food and other essentials from our Wishlist are always welcome and can be left at reception in a clearly labelled box.
          • Contribute to our fundraiser: visit our Go Fund Me pageAll donations will help to secure the food parcels needed by families in our community.
          • Tell your friends: share our crowdfund and Wishlist on social media.
          • Network: do you know a business who might like to help with supplies or funding? Tell them about us too.
          • Volunteer: if you are interested in volunteering or would like to find out more, contact office@stwerburghs.org.uk.

          *This funding is part of the Household Support Fund (HSF) on behalf of Bristol City Council, in line with the One City Food Equality Strategy and Action Plan (FESAP).

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            Digital Inclusion:  “Since coming to the sessions I’m feeling bolder and more confident.”

            At St Werburghs Community Centre, we want to empower residents to learn and develop, to connect with each other and to celebrate and thrive. One of our priorities is to increase digital and economic inclusion of the people in Ashley and adjacent wards.

            Age is one of the biggest predictors of digital exclusion. Only 47% of those aged 75 and over use the internet regularly. This presents additional barriers to accessing the services and support they need to live well.

            Our approach has always been to offer help ‘here and now’ so the place feels welcoming and people get the help they need.

            Between January and December 2023 we were able to support older people to access digital support and improve their skills and wellbeing through our Easy PC and other Digital Inclusion services. These services were kindle supported by St Monica Trust and Nisbet Trust.

             “I look after my husband with Alzheimer’s, so I enjoy the friendship as well as learning. When I can no longer get out, I will hopefully be able to shop online, do banking and lots more.”

            About our Digital Inclusion Services 

            Easy PC one-to-one sessions for older people delivered on Mondays and Fridays, these are 45 minutes to 1 hour and clients can book multiple sessions to build their skills and confidence within a friendly and sociable setting. Topics covered include an introduction to computers, e-mail, social media, video calls, online news, and shopping, and internet security.

            Easy PC group sessions themed and tailored to the needs of the participants. Also offering social interaction and opportunities for peer learning and making new friendships. These are designed to respond to the needs or to provide a shared space for participants who have been attending the one to-one sessions for a while to free space for new clients.

            Open Access Public Computers open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm. There are five public PCs and free Wi-Fi with support from team and volunteers. The computers can be used by anyone in the community but our equalities data evidences that at least 60% of our users are over 55 and live within Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill wards, as well as city wide.

            “(…) I had no previous experience of using a digital device or being online. I felt quite anxious before the first visit. I now feel more confident and picking up new things every time I visit.”

            Wellbeing & Connection

            One of the many positive outcomes of our Digital Inclusion services sprung from the interconnection between the different services and activities that take part at the Community Centre. Digital Inclusion participants also engage in other services available to them, where they were able to apply some of their new skills in practical and fun ways.

            “I’ve been coming to the centre for over 10 years and have used the public computers for research and to write my memoirs. During this time I have met new friends and joined in the centre’s activities such as Picnic in the Park and Festive Friends. I like looking at the art on the walls made by the Art Group.”

             

            The digital inclusion here evolves around capturing moments via digital photography and sharing those on social media, via email and phones giving participants skills and experiences worth sharing with their families and friends. Some of those activities also offer multigenerational sessions.

            Access & Reach

            • Easy PC one-to-one sessions benefited 117 individuals who on average visited 3 times.
            • Open Access Public Computers recorded 342 people over 55 who responded to our key questions with many visiting repeatedly
            • Our Open Access and Signposting was delivered over 4,200 hours and have seen over 200 new subscriptions. The equalities data confirms that over 60% of those are over 55s.

            Participants who answered our evaluation survey, before and after being part of the programme, reported general increase in all of the areas evaluated. These included learning new skills, felling confident using technology and feeling safe using the internet.

            “I always come very agitated, embarrassed and frustrated but always leave feeling lighter, having resolved any problems.”

             “It is the highlight of my week, I feel so privileged to be a part of this group. I feel happier, healthier, more confident, more hopeful and more connected to my community.”

            Thank you

            We would like to thank our funders, St Monica Trust and the Nisbet Trust for supporting Easy PC and our other Digital Inclusion services.

            ”I feel more confident about getting out and mixing with people again, also coming to terms with the fact that I have retired!”

             

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              Ceilidh Night Success

              We held a Ceilidh Night on Friday 23rd February 2024. We were joined once more by The Rosemary Band and their traditional Celtic sound, to repeat the success from their previous visit back in Autumn.

              Tickets sold out earlier in the week and we had a full house.

              We raised £700 which goes directly to support our local community in St Werburghs and everyone who benefits and enjoys our Community Centre. Thank you to everyone who joined us on the night and shared our event.

              We would like to give a special thank you to Paul, Mary-Rose, Karen, John and Caliope, our fantastic volunteers, for ensuring the night run smoothly and everyone had a good time.

              See you at the next one!

              Thank you for supporting our Ceilidh Night –  We raised £700!

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                2024 Annual General Meeting

                We held our Annual General Meeting in January and revisited the highs and the challenges of the past year.

                We want to thank all of our members and trustees for all their hard work over this time.

                We invite further collaborations and new members in the future to join us in shaping the community centre and the work we do here.

                If you would like to read our full report you can access it here:

                Click here to download our 2022-2023 Report. 

                 

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                  New floor in Room 1

                  We are so happy that we have been able to update our wooden floor in Rm 1. Although it is not ‘new’ its been professionally sanded, mended and varnished so it is an absolute dream. We have already had some excellent reviews from our yoga teachers who are ecstatic about it. This was in part made possible by the Ceilidh Fundrasier we had back in the Autumn. So we just wanted to say thanks again for keeping this place looking and feeling great!

                   

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                    Remembering Roy Hackett

                    Roy Hackett was born on 18th September 1928 in Jamaica -This date in 2023 would have been his 95th birthday. Everyone at the Centre will forever be grateful to Roy for his work in the community and some of us here were fortunate enough to be able to call him a friend. His family are in our thoughts today.
                     
                    Though renowned for his civil rights activism and his role in the Bristol bus boycott in 1963, Roy was also one of the founding members of St Werburghs Community Association which he helped to establish in 1971. Roy was an inspirational leader and was a member of our committee until his death last year at the age of 93. St Werburghs Community Centre may not exist without Roy – in 1997 when faced with the prospect of closing the Centre or pushing ahead through numerous challenges he responded by asking ‘what do we need to do’.
                     
                    “We are deeply proud of everything that we are and that we represent and of the history of resilience. That moment when Roy said ‘what do we need to do’ changed everything. I think if he’d said ‘we should give up’ we would have done, but he didn’t. He didn’t. He said ‘what do we need to do’ and we got on with it.” (Graham Bottrill – Vice Chair of Trustees)
                     
                    Thank you Roy for your commitment, wisdom, leadership, friendship, and for showing us the power of resilience.

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