WHO WANTS A CAFE?
In a recent Council survey of SpArC users, many people asked for a café and more social activities. Bringing together café users and volunteers of all interests and ages will help to pull us together again after Coronavirus isolation. We also hope that training for volunteers will help increase employability for those who have recently lost work and income.
WHO ARE WE?
SpArC Leisure Centre is based in Bishops Castle, and most of its users live in the South West Shropshire hills and the Marches. We include the sporty, competitive, dutiful, people of all ages including children from 10 schools and GP referrals. Membership increased from 300 to 400 over the last two years. Attendances totalled 77,000 in 2019, rising by 3,000 in a year. Café users will include parents of children in swimming classes, the young and the elderly catching up with friends.
WE ARE WORKING ON THIS TOGETHER.
The Leisure Centre was saved entirely through local community support, resulting in a SpArC charity and fundraising team. We have together raised over £140k, installed a pool cover and gained funding for a Pocket Park. Last year, we installed lockers and hair dryers for refurbished changing rooms. The Theatre saw its Friends more than treble. This year, we have bought 18 spinning bikes for the Centre's reopening. For the full story, see:http://www.savethesparc.org
WHAT KIND OF CAFE?
Our aim is to turn the old Centre entrance into a small cafe equipped with sofa, armchairs and coffee tables as well as a few dining tables and chairs. The major costs are for equipment - a decent coffee machine, boiler, microwave and dishwasher, glass-fronted fridges, and stainless-steel benches and shelves.
HOW WILL IT HELP?
We are planning a series of events to celebrate both the Centre and Theatre’s reopening and the launch of the Pocket Park. Receptions will be hosted in the café, as well as providing a venue for elderly people wanting exercise and society, and young people or families looking for affordable and sociable activities.
Because the café will be staffed by volunteers, accredited training will be offered, in general health and safety, basic food hygiene, customer care, first aid and other catering skills.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We need votes more than donations in thèse hard times. Can you encourage 10 friends to vote for this SpArC cafe? The SpArC Charity has requested £5,000 from Calor for a project which will cost nearly £10,000. You donated £3,000 to the charity before the virus struck, and we hope to gain a further £2,000 from Crowdfunding. However, any extra donations will allow us to spend more on our energy-reduction plans so will be very welcome.