Many thanks to Stuart, Tesco's local bakery manager who gave us fresh rolls for our Family Fun Day and every week provides us with free food to give away. Stuart is pictured, centre, with Beacon manager, Kate Galliford and our amazing volunteer Dave Robertson who collects the food from Tesco, up to three times a week.
A total of 70 children and 30 adults came along to our Easter family fun day and enjoyed exciting activities and lunch.
We're also grateful to the Merry Go Round Toy Library and Recycle Devon for their support.
We've got lots of free food to give away this Friday, 6 April, 10am - 12noon during our Community Drop-In.
Our good friends at Tesco give us their surplus food which we put out on a table for everyone to help themselves, take as much as you need. We've got satsumas, cakes, bread, Mr Kipling lemon slices, eggs, crumpets, mangoes and apples.
We've got more than usual to give away as our regular weekly groups who enjoy this free food, have not met during the holidays. Please join us for a hot drink, cakes, (no charge) a game of pool, Knit and Knatter, board games or just sit and enjoy a chat with our friendly regulars at the drop-in.
We had lots of fun at the official opening of the Spinning Top Toy Library. Families enjoyed playing together with the huge selection of high quality toys. Our local county councillor, Hilary Ackland, who's a great supporter of the centre, cut the ribbon declaring the toy library open. Also, attending were a team from Devon and Cornwall Housing Association, now re-branded Liverty. We're very grateful to Hilary and Liverty for their continued support and are delighted to welcome the toy library, another great service for local families.
It’s time to give a big welcome to Kate Galliford, our new centre manager, and say a sad goodbye to our good friend Richard Cummings.
Kate’s appointment marks an exciting time in the life of our centre, as our increasing activities and events are helping towards creating community in Beacon Heath.
We're sad to say goodbye to Richard “two jobs" Cummings who has worked incredibly hard setting up the centre and running it.
As Isca Church's community worker Richard started developing plans in November 2014 to re-open the centre which was closed due to council cuts. He then also took on the role of centre manager, hence the two jobs title; Richard’s moving on, but is still supporting the growth and development of the centre, so you’ll still see him around.
Kate, a mum of two, who has lived in Beacon Heath for the past six years with her husband Karl, has been a highly committed volunteer here at the centre for the past year. She’s helped with our popular family fun days, our Christmas craft fair and recently organised a successful tabletop sale.
She’s previously worked with learning disabled adults and spent seven years in youth work and has had voluntary roles with St Petrock’s, the Samaritans and helping elderly people.
Kate said: “I’m really excited about putting my passion into the centre to continue its growth and to introduce more activities into the community.”
Congratulations Heather and Gerald
Congratulations to Heather and Gerald on their golden wedding anniversary. Heather and Gerald are amazing volunteers here at the centre and we want to celebrate the wonderful marriage of a wonderful couple.
We honestly don't know what we'd do without them. Every week Heather cooks a hot lunch for our Meet and Remember group and makes the most amazing cakes for our community drop-in. While Gerald is our maintenance man, if something needs fixing he's our man! Both spend many hours every week helping make our centre a warm, welcoming space and we're just so happy that they're part of our Beacon family.
Our first Table Top Sale was a great success. We had lots of lovely stallholders selling lots of goodies, a great children's activities room and even a beautician giving manicures and massages. It was a wonderful, fun packed morning.
The children especially enjoyed the Playdough Factory with lots of different types of playdoughs, the messy foam table, beads and threading as well as crown making.
Homemade cakes were washed down with hot drinks and it was a relaxing, sociable morning.
It's been a great week! We've won another award thanks to the news site DevonLive and we've just held a very successful third Christmas fair!
We were nominated as Community Centre of the Year in the Devon Community Honours 2017 and received our prize at a glittering reception at Exeter Castle, while over this weekend we welcomed hundreds of local people to our fair, with lots of stalls, a visit to Santa and a chance for a cuppa and cake.
Judi Spiers hosted the DevonLive event, attended by Olympian Jo Pavey, Exeter Chiefs Tony Rowe and the Lord Lieutenant of Devon, to recognise the amazing work carried out across the county by volunteers. Guests were treated to a high tea with plenty of Prosecco.
The community centre award was sponsored by Western Power Distribution which said:"Community Centres, like our business operate at the heart of its community. They often provide a safe haven for people who seek the company of others in a shared activity or event. They can also provide useful resources and offer a wealth of training and support services to help people manage difficult situations affecting them and their families.
"They bring together people who make up the diverse nature of the local community to have fun, share experiences and support others. We are delighted to support the amazing people who make these community centres such a valuable resource for the wider community!"
Join our friendly Knit, Natter, Crochet and Cross Stitch group meeting here on:
Friday 10am-12noon during the Community Drop-In - enjoy a cuppa and cake!
Saturday 1.30pm-4.30pm - there is a small charge of £2.50 for this session to cover room rental and refreshments.
Don't worry if you don't have any yarn or needles, we can supply some.
If you want more info please contact the centre on 01329 204979
We're offering free digital help next Friday ( 6 Oct) from 10am until 12noon as well as a cuppa and cake!
Now that sounds like a great offer! We're taking part in National Get Online Week when digital experts from Lloyds Bank will be available to help you, whether you’re brand-new to the internet, or you want a bit of help getting more from being online.
The help will be on offer in a very relaxed friendly atmosphere, as it’s taking place during our normal community drop-in offering cake with a cuppa. You’ll be encouraged to Try 1 Thing - use the internet to do just one thing you’d normally do in a shop or bank, in a doctor’s or chemist, or even over the phone.
Keri Ilston, Beacon Centre manager, said: “Almost everyone has heard about some of the ways the internet can help you save money, save time, and make life easier and more fun. But if you’re not confident using a computer, tablet or smartphone, or you’ve heard about some of the dangers of being online, it can be difficult to take that next step.
“Getting the most out of the internet doesn’t have to be scary. We think that doing just one thing online is all you need to do to get started. There’ll be lots of friendly support for anyone who wants to start doing a bit more online - and it’s free. People can call us on 204979 to find out more, or just pop in and see what’s happening. The more the merrier and everyone’s welcome!”
More than 300 children and adults came along to our four Family Fun Days held during August.
It was a hugely successful project, providing entertainment, activities and food for local families during the long summer holidays. We are very grateful to our sponsors for their support: Dave and Ian Robertson, Folk2Folk, Saladmaster, Emma and Rob Morse, Maria Alford, Liz and Karl Straw, our activity helpers, Love Local Food, FabLab Devon, Exeter Library, Active Devon, Emma Morse, Exeter City Football Club, Disco Steve, Lyndsay from Messy Play, Michelle, glitter painting and all our amazing volunteers who worked so hard to make this happen.
Check out our Facebook Page for some great pictures of the days.
Thank you everyone.
We’ve been on Radio Devon twice in a week! This is great publicity and a great chance to remind you of all the amazing things which happen here.
Late this morning Fitz was interviewing John Greenfield from our award-winning Meet and Remember Memory Café and this seems a good opportunity to ask for help to run the café. We meet every Wednesday morning and we’d love to hear from anybody who’s available to set out chairs and tables or help serve lunch and wash up. Please email us if you’re interested – firstname.lastname@example.org.Come and be part of a wonderful group, last week we helped Ted and Betty, pictured, celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary - a special day for everybody.
Last week presenter Gordon Sparks invited the centre’s volunteer press officer Liz Straw to join an impromptu and slightly mad “competition” between us and a village hall to find out which was the best. Gordon loved our recent idea to name all the rooms after biscuits – food is an integral part of what happens here. We sent him some Hobnobs and he was delighted! Our lovely, large, light hall is now called the Hobnob Hall, our children’s room is Jammie Dodger, our quiet room is the chilled Malted Milk room, the foodbank operates from Chocolate Digestive and our fourth room is Custard Cream.
Thanks Radio Devon for supporting us – we’re very grateful. We love this place and we’re glad you like it too!
Hundreds of people came along to the Beacon Heath Summer Fete and enjoyed a great day out, with a variety of entertainment and attractions including birds of prey, exotic animals, a graphic design suite and a good range of local stalls.
There was a real buzz as lots of children had a go on the laptop computers printing their own design stickers and parents and children competed to build the strongest Lego bridge. PCSO Rich Shelton worked for the first time with his new team of police cadets who were very helpful in making the whole event run smoothly. The fete was held over three sites, St James’ School, The Beacon Community Centre and the Beacon Nursery.
We celebrated our 2nd birthday in style - with a lovely cake, made by the lovely Heather and party games.
Richard Cummings, centre manager, made a short speech detailing the successes of the centre during the past year. "The centre now has a firm financial footing and we’re excited to announce that we have employed a part-time cleaner and next month we will be starting the process of recruiting a new part-time manager. These appointments are due to the centre’s healthy numbers of bookings which is the result of the amazing hard work of our team of volunteers – thank you for being part of The Beacon family. I'll still be around to support the new manager in developing the centre, as well as continue community work for Isca Church.
"During the past year, we’ve won an award as the best community centre in Exeter and our friends from Meet and Remember also won an award. Nearly all the activities which take place here have seen an increase in the numbers of people coming along. We couldn’t have done this without a terrific team of volunteers so thank you everyone for putting in your time and effort. If you’d like to join one of the teams making things happen please speak to me or a current volunteer.
"We’ve just launched our new website. www.thebeaconcentre.org and we’d love your feedback. If you look on the front page you’ll see a link to a survey – please spend a few minutes to let us know what you think. Thank you for being part of the life of our centre and here’s to another great year ahead!
A big thank you to our top Spring Clean Team who turned out in force to spruce the centre up. We're so pleased to have got so many jobs done - our To Do list, just got shorter!
We've been open for two years so it's important we maintain the centre, to ensure it's safe and welcoming for the many hundreds of people who pass through our doors every week.
One of the jobs we're most pleased to have got done is painting those awful security gates at our front entrance - they're now a warm, welcoming blue instead of the cold, galvanised steel - many thanks to Terry's team.
Check out our Facebook page to see lots of fun pictures. If you weren't able to join us this time then look out for our Autumn Clean.