We believe The Beacon is a special place and that’s why our volunteers are so keen to look after the building and help to run it.
The building was previously the well known and much loved youth Knight Club, which sadly due to cuts was forced to close. Our neighbours, Isca Church, which meets next door at St James School, successfully bid to take over the building as a community centre, with a focus on youth. Isca Church created a separate charity called Isca Community Enterprises to lease the centre and run it. The charity exists for the public benefit, for promoting welfare and education to local residents and promoting community and belonging.
As soon as we got the lease our amazing team of volunteers got stuck in. The first big job was installing a ceiling to create a warm, cosy feel to the hall. Our Big Beacon Decorating weekends saw volunteers painting bright white walls and also painting the exterior and planting pretty flower borders. By adding a few large houseplants, some bunting and making some pretty cushions we now have a homely feeling centre.
Our volunteers also got stuck in creating admin systems, a vast array of policies, health and safety, fire regulations, all the things needed to make a centre safe.
But, hey, the real fun began when groups started! Isca Church created two youth clubs – both are proving very popular; the church also runs a toddler group. The children's centre take over the centre once a week for a stay and play session. We have yoga and a social group and lunch for older people. The Foodbank come once a week and specialist groups from the school and a local autistic support group also use the space. After our first birthday, we started our Community Drop-In which is going well with a great mixture of ages and activity.