Rowleys Centre for the Community
Rowleys Centre for the Community is a registered charity based here in Cranleigh.
Last year I was invited to become a Trustee of the charity and at the 2017 AGM was voted by the members onto the Board of Trustees.
The charity is established to promote the welfare of people living in and around the Parish of Cranleigh and surrounding villages (Cranfold), primarily to those over 50 years old.
The staff and volunteers are really what makes Rowleys a successful organisation. They put in a great deal of work to make the centre a wonderful place for people to come and enjoy a myriad of events.
Rowleys also provides a range of services; key amongst these are chiropody and hairdressing, with a plan to include a beautician and indeed any other services that provide for a better quality of life.
A major part of the service delivery is that of the provision of home cooked and nutritious lunches every weekday for either onsite consumption as well as external distribution, called Community Meals Service, similar to the Meals-on-Wheels service. Our goal is to increase the take up of this service quite significantly.
Rowleys staff arrange holidays, outings and events in-house for our “clients” and this goes a long way to reducing the issues of isolation.
It is all so very easy living in a prosperous community like Cranleigh to forget that there are people around us who are lonely and less privileged than others; Rowleys exists to deal with some of those issues.
More recently Rowleys has expanded its operations to include a Community Hub. The rooms in part of the adjacent linked- building to the community centre have been through a massive renovation.
This provides us with the opportunity to expand the range of services available. Revenue will be generated by hiring it out to local businesses, clubs, societies and individuals for business meetings and social events.
We are supported by donations, charges levied for the services that we provide, fund raising by a marvellous group of hard working volunteers called The Friends Of Rowleys and, importantly, a grant from Waverley Borough Council. As well as general Trustee responsibility my role is to provide some financial oversight to the Board of Trustees.
Like any charity based around a property we need to raise further funds for a number of capital projects that we have planned at the centre.
As a forward thinking organisation we have a business plan and have ambitions to grow the services and the numbers of people with whom we connect in the local community.
One of the first things that I have noticed in my year as a trustee is the friendliness of the community centre. There is always a cup of tea, a board game or game of chess, and plenty of chat going on.
This article first appeared in the September 2018 edition of Informed magazine