Working in the community, for the community

Newsletter for Clients and User Groups

We trust you are all keeping safe and well during these challenging times!


The Trustees are pleased to advise you that the community centre will formally reopen on 1st September, 2020 following its forced closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.


We have carried out extensive cleaning throughout the centre and undertaken a comprehensive risk assessment exercise and implemented measures to ensure the centre is a COVID-19 safe and secure environment.


These measures include:


  • Operating a one-way system which must be strictly adhered to at all times,
  • Keeping rooms well ventilated,
  • Entering the building through the main entrance only,
  • Using the hand sanitizer which is provided on entering the building,
  • Using face mask when entering the building and attending your group meeting,
  • Keeping the kitchen closed until further notice and
  • Increasing our cleaning procedures to include cleaning rooms, chairs, table tops and door handles in-between each user group

Group Leaders will be fully briefed and supported on the measures in place and will be required to sign a declaration that they understand the measures in place together with their responsibilities.


Signs are clearly displayed throughout the centre, including the toilets, emphasising ‘social distance rules which must be strictly adhered to at all times, the importance of washing and sanitising hands together with floor markings providing guidance to adhering to the one-way system.


During August we had a small number of our regular groups using the centre with the key aim of inspecting and trialling the measures we have put in place. We are pleased to report the feedback from the groups has been positive and they all felt safe when using the centre.


In order to comply with government regulations, the number of user groups allowed into the centre at any one time will be limited, including the number of people allowed into each meeting room, which is currently as follows:


  • Main Hall – 30 people sitting or 15/20 people depending on the activity,
  • Stanley Room – 28 people sitting or 12/15 people depending on the activity and
  • Jack Williams Room and Office: 12 sitting only although the numbers will be reduced 9 and 5 respectively if tables are required.

Rob Wood, Centre Manager has made a start on contacting Clients and User Group Leaders to try and ascertain when their group would like to return and make use of the centre facilities once again.


Some groups have indicated they are keen to return as soon as possible. However, some have advised us they will not be returning until January next year at the earliest and we fully respect and understand the reasons.


However, we are sure that we do not need to tell you the pandemic situation has had a profound impact on our income. Whist we are a not-for-profit organisation, we still have staff wages to pay and continue to incur standing charges for running the centre.


You will, therefore, appreciate the Trustees have had to make some difficult decisions on the future development of the business to ensure we remain a viable operation. We regret, therefore, we may not be able to guarantee to hold open indefinitely your usual room and meeting day if another user group needs to be accommodated and can make an immediate start.


For clients and user groups delaying their return, we should like to assure you we will make every effort to offer alternative arrangements should this situation arise.


As usual, should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Rob Wood, Centre Manager or any member of staff who will be pleased to discuss any concerns you may have. If the duty staff member is not able to fully answer your query, they will ensure it is brought to the attention of Rob for resolution.


We will keep you updated on what is happening in the centre and any changes required to ensure we meet government regulations for community centres.


We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you back to St Mary’s Millennium Centre soon, so that you are able to enjoy using the facilities and meet up with your group friends once again.


David Blythe

(On behalf of the Board of Trustees)