Working magic. 


The internet is a truly powerful thing

At 7.45pm on Thursday 14th July, a public meeting was called at Clayhanger Community Centre to discuss and shape it’s future.

At 9.30pm on the same evening, the meeting ended and offers of administration and leafleting were made to the team of directors.

By lunch time Saturday 16th July, further offers of help had come in and the list of volunteers is growing.

At around 11 am Sunday 17th July, a Facebook post was made by a friend of CCC asking local tradesmen for help with a DIY SOS style intervention.

By 11 pm on Sunday 17th July, scores of tradesmen had put their names and skills to a list making a commitment to address the building work issues.

This evening, less than 96 hours (yep that’s 4 days before you start to calculate it) the directors of CCC are meeting tradesmen to formulate a plan to make good the areas which need repair and to make improvements so the building can be fully utilised. 

Now that’s not just the power of the Internet, that’s the power of people who come together for a common cause for the greater good. 

And that, dear reader, is magic. 

Now all that’s needed is Nick Knowles… 

Thank you Clayhanger

Clayhanger Community Centre has offers of grass cutting and general maintenance, administration, book keeping, sourcing funding, first aid, and perhaps most exciting, a DIY SOS style intervention has been offered to address the issues with the roof and other areas which need attention with the building! 

Fantastic! 

Clayhanger Community Centre – Volunteer Action

Wow! The response for offers of help at Clayhanger Community Centre has been overwhelming! If you have offered to help via a facebook thread, the office manager for Clayhanger Community Centre will be in touch shortly. So the Directors know where to contact people when the time comes, please complete this contact form and any future communication will be via email.

Thank you Clayhanger!

Clayhanger Community Centre – what future?

Back in October 2012, Clayhanger proudly announced that it had a Community Centre. Saved from certain demolition, the former George and Dragon public house was leased by Walsall Council to a team of Clayhanger residents determined to make the building work for the young people of the community.

Almost 4 years on, after hard work, dedication and sacrifice, the funds have run dry and the original team of directors are left over-stretched and in need of help. A public meeting was called therefore, to present the current situation and determine what the future may bring for Clayhanger Community Centre.

As ever, directors Karen Johnson, Karen Hollender, Becky Bryan and Lisa Taylor are cheerful and welcoming. The numbers in attendance are encouraging but not overwhelming. Karen explains that having run the centre for several years with financial support from Rosie’s Helping hands, the money is due to run out in September as Rosie’s is disbanding and support promised by Walsall Voluntary Action has not been kept. Clayhanger Community Centre (CCC) has relied on this funding to pay the running costs of keeping the building open and very little is made from the clubs and groups who use the building.

Confirmed by Laura Terry and Labour Cllr Steve Wade, Area Partnership and Walsall Council have offered some funding and the directors would gratefully receive this money which is intended to cover running costs and some maintainence over the next 12 months. The main concern is that the building is being underused. Admirably, the directors would not want to receive the cash offered only to find that the building is not used more widely by the community which it intends to serve.

The big question seemed to be “Would the current directors be happy to continue in post if the Community of Clayhanger stepped forward to offer help by donating time and skills to manage and promote CCC?” The answer, thankfully, was “yes.”

A good deal of helpful discussion ensued and the main points are as follows:

  • Clayhanger residents need to be made more aware of the facilities that CCC offers in terms of room hire for one off events or to run clubs;
  • A ‘checklist of requirements’ is needed so that anyone wanting to run a club or group from CCC knows exactly what is required to cover health and safety, first aid and safeguarding.
  • The directors need help with administration, marketing, fund raising and finance.
  • The loose roof tiles will only become worse over the winter and further damage will increase the cost to any repair. The roof needs fixing as a matter of urgency.
  • There is an organisation (A Stars Sports) which may be interested in using the building and grounds to run a variety of clubs for children but discussions are very much in the early stages.
  • The current funding offered would keep CCC open for a year. The situation will be reviewed again in 12 months time.
  • The AGM for CCC is in September, at which time, the directors could welcome new members onto the committee and roles defined.

Having a ‘to do’ list is all well and good and the directors are very experienced at doing what needs to be done, but that’s just the point. They have been doing it, on their own, for too long. Whilst the building needs money what is needed more is people and skills. As a prosperous village, with a demographic of managerial expertise in the workplace, there is plenty of it about. Clayhanger Community Cente could be a thriving charity. It’s rooms could be booked out seven days a week and many groups and clubs could benefit from the intimate nature of the rooms offered.

Think carefully about the skills you have – administration, finance, marketing, advertising, communication, health and safety, construction – the list is endless. Could you make a commitment to offer a few hours a month for a year to invest in your local community? Many workplaces have a policy of allowing employees paid time off to support the local community. Does your place of work offer this scheme? If it does, take advantage.

It was heartening to see that, as well as making suggestions, there were offers of practical help from those in attendance. More is needed though and the more help and support there is, the easier the load will be.

The coming year is full of promise and exciting times for the Community Centre in Clayhanger. Be part of it, make history, give something back.

To get in touch with the directors at CCC, link to the Facebook page or use the form below.

30 Days Wild: Day 30 birds of a feather. 

The final day of #30dayswild is concluded with a long walk in the company of a good friend and our hounds. 

We take in our regular route and catch up with the week’s news. Brexit is a hot topic for us this evening but then so is coconut rice so I think we covered all the important issues there. 

The Swan family accompany us for a while. Nine cygnets!  They’ve done well this year. 

Further on in our walk we encounter the heron, standing so still that the dogs don’t notice him until they are about 6 feet away. I say ‘he’ I’ve no idea of the heron’s gender. On the dog’s approach he gracefully launches himself and settles on the opposite side of the canal. My friend and I wonder at how he can fly with those long legs. They simply seem to tuck away, just like the landing gear of an aeroplane. 

A great walk is over and so is #30dayswild. Me though, I intend to #staywild.