The Community Together CIC Hub has set up in the former outdoor swimming baths, known as the Activity Centre, offering a full programme of daily activities available to the whole community, as well as a new café serving healthy food and drink.
Sessions and support on offer include a job club, work experience and volunteering opportunities, IT support club, walking and cycling groups – with up to six free hires of a bicycle if participants do not have their own and want to give it a try. New mums with pushchairs walking group, healthy cooking sessions, painting and pottery clubs, befriending sessions and a Senior Wednesday club including pick up and drop off, a cooked meal, games and quizzes. In addition, arts, crafts and games tables are set up for people to drop in and enjoy on a daily basis.
Community Together CIC is a not-for-profit community interest company, which hosts services and events for the Tamworth area based out of various satellite locations across the borough.
The organisation wanted a town centre location to act as central point between the satellite Community Café sessions and was given the opportunity to lease part of the Activity Centre by Tamworth Borough Council. It now shares the building with the Tame Anker Bowls Club, which has been based there for 20 years.
The project was made possible thanks to funding of £164,090 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Fund, which has helped pay for the centre to be refurbished including a new kitchen, new flooring and redecorating throughout.
Tamworth Community Together CIC is made up of seven members of staff plus an army of 54 volunteers who deliver 149 hours of support and activities each week. This means most sessions are offered free of charge, or at low-cost to cover fees and materials.
This year the Community Together CIC team has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for its tireless efforts in growing the venture from an initial Community Café session designed to bring young and old together, to the large programme of activities and support provided today.
The award will be presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson during a special ceremony at the Hub on Thursday September 22, where the facility will also be officially opened. A variety of invited guests including volunteers, partner organisations and civic dignitaries including the Mayor of Tamworth, Cllr Ken Norchi, will be on hand to show their support for the new venture.
Tamworth Community Together CIC Project Co-ordinator, Lee Bates, said, “Our satellite sessions are usually open one day a week at various locations throughout the town, but the Hub is open full-time Monday to Friday. This enables us to provide support on a more full-time basis so we can offer a lot more help and activities.
“Many of the sessions we offer are in response to a need from the community, such as the job club and IT support, so if there’s anything anyone has a particular need for then we will see what we can do to help.
“It’s all about bringing people together and I’d invite anyone who’d like to find out more to pop in at any time.”
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Wellbeing, said, “There is so much on offer to people at the new Hub, whether it’s popping in for lunch or a cuppa, meeting new people through one of the clubs or activities, or seeking practical help and support. The Community Hub is going to be a real asset to the town and I would encourage everyone to drop in and see how they can get involved.”
Cllr Joy Goodall, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Environment and Culture, added, “The Activity Centre is a great building in a wonderful location and it’s fantastic to see it now being used to its full potential and for the benefit of the whole community.”
The Hub is initially open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, with a late opening on Thursdays until 8pm.