Anyone who has ever worked in a charitable organisation will know how important it is to ensure that you operate as smoothly as any business in the marketplace. This is abundantly clear when observing how Swale Community Centres, the latest entrants into the Swale Business Awards, operates. Under the leadership of Sara Seabridge, the organisation founded in 1991 provides room, hall and office hire for charity, community, voluntary, statutory and commercial groups and services; as well as a youth Club for 13-17 year olds.
Sara discussed what Swale Community Centres brought to the local community and how the organisation was trying to extend its reach. “We offer a warm, welcoming environment with an open door policy. Unlike other facilities locally, we offer rooms from 8.30am – 10pm on weekdays, as well as offering rooms on weekends. We have been improving our website and social media presence and this has led to enquiries coming from further afield, such as Medway, Ashford and London.”
Working in partnership with Kent Police, Sara started the Phoenix Youth Social Club in August 2015. Utilising funding from the Police Property Fund, Sittingbourne Invicta Rotary Club Community Chest and in-house fundraisers, the aim of the youth club was to identify young people who have previously been involved with anti-social behaviour, in the care system or without education or training opportunities, and invite them to come along and participate in several recreational activities. The primary focus is to work with members aged 13-17 and help increase social interaction and have a positive influence. The overall outcome is for them to have fun, but to ultimately learn life skills, increase employment prospects, social awareness and interaction. Initially the club was only planned to run for a ten-week period but due to its popularity has continued to be held every Friday since last August.
Sara commented on why she felt that Swale Community Centres should be recognised at the Swale Business Awards: “We believe Phoenix House is an exciting, friendly and open-hearted community-based business, which continues in its overall aim to engage in any charitable purpose for the benefit of the residents of Swale. Swale Community Centres also promotes and supports many others in their charitable and community activities by providing facilities for recreation, education, companionship, communication and general care.”
Swale Community Centres
01795 426 081