For 26 years now, Swale Community Centres have been providing room, hall and office hire for charity, community, voluntary, statutory and commercial groups and services throughout Swale. The charitable organisation runs a youth club group for 13-17 year olds and is also a Food Bank voucher provider.
Under the stewardship of Sara Seabridge, Swale Community Centres runs a very established operation from Phoenix House. Sara has led her team to undertake several initiatives, which she discussed: “Following the planned retirement of our caretaker, we recruited someone new to this position through Pinnacle People, an organisation dealing with help and support for the long term unemployed. We continue to support the Kent Training and Apprenticeship Scheme (KTAS) helping young people to develop their skills through work experience alongside continuing formal education. Work experience placements continue on a regular basis providing placements for all ages and abilities and many of the previous placements revisit the centre to keep us up-to-date with their progress, and frequently to volunteer some of their time.”
Phoenix House continues to be a very popular venue, energetically promoted by the team with over 100 different groups using the building through the year. Last year was a particularly special year, as it was the 25th anniversary of the opening of Phoenix House as a community Centre for Sittingbourne and Swale. To celebrate the team held 25 events throughout the year to raise awareness of the services provided and to offer community engagement.
They team have also worked tirelessly to gain training in Dementia Awareness and hold events throughout last year and this year to promote a Dementia Friendly environment. They successfully gained their ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly’ recognition symbol, making them both first business in Swale and the first community centre in Kent to receive this award.
Sara spoke about why she felt that Swale Community Centres deserved to be recognised at the Swale Business Awards: “We believe Swale Community Centres, 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. We are dedicated to our commitment to be a Dementia Friendly Business. 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. We offer a variety of rooms at competitive prices and the facility, unlike other halls locally, is open seven days a week, 8.30am – 10pm on weekdays, with staff always on site.”
Swale Community Centres
01795 426 081