Social hall leaders are to stand down

This Is Wiltshire: Tracy Brown, the vice-chairman of Freshbrook Community Centre, with chairman Stephanie Bird at its opening Tracy Brown, the vice-chairman of Freshbrook Community Centre, with chairman Stephanie Bird at its opening

FRESHBROOK Community Centre and Peatmoor Social Hall are under threat as the chairman and secretary of the management committee will stand down this summer.

The committee has been hailed as a great success after turning around the fortunes of the Freshbrook Community Centre when it was facing administration, and taking over running of Peatmoor Social Hall last year.

But if fresh volunteers are not found to fill the vacant positions by the time of the annual general meeting on July 16, the committee will be forced to fold and hand control of both centres back to Swindon Council.

Outgoing chairman Stephanie Bird said the time had come to allow fresh volunteers to come in and make their mark locally.

She said: “I am standing down as chair and the secretary is also standing aside. We have been doing this for five years and it would be nice to get some new faces in.”

Stephanie will still be involved with the centre on a limited basis as she moves on to continue her studies.

“We are still going to be around but we are just not going to be holding those positions any more,” she said.

“We are looking for someone who would come in with some vision and new ideas to do something a little bit different.”

“We have done a lot for youngsters with new play equipment, so whoever comes in might want to look at doing something for the older people.

“If we do not have three people as chair, secretary and treasurer by the AGM we will have to hand the centres back to the council. That nearly happened last time around but someone thankfully stood in at the last minute.

“Because there are going to be four paid members of staff it will not be a huge commitment. They just need to be available for a couple of hours a week. I am still going to be doing some caretaking, but I have decided to start a degree in support for learning at Swindon College.”

Stephanie said she was proud of the work she has achieved over the last few years and hoped it would continue under new leadership.

She said: “I just think that we need a bit of a break. It has been a good few years and a lot of hard work, but it is getting easier now. Whoever steps in will be taking over something successful which won’t demand too much of their time. Anyone who wants to register can let the office know, and they will be invited to the AGM on July 16.”

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