The newly named and refurbished Inns Court Centre will be launched in December – and is looking for volunteers to take it forward,
Formerly known as the Mede Community and Learning Centre, the building was first opened in July 1998.
Surviving the threat of closure after its annual funding was withdrawn in 2011 – the centre is an example of what can be achieved if the community is behind it.
Former Chair of Trustees for five years and Vicar of Holy Cross and St Barnabas Churches, the Rev Alister Palmer says: “The issue is, how do you reinvent yourself without mainstream funding…We are shifting from a reliance on staff to a reliance on volunteers…We are trying to reduce our overheads.”
A new Day Nursery and playground will accommodate 48 children aged two – three. There will also be a refurbished café complete with Internet access open six days a week.
The centre is currently in talks with a Dance and Performing Arts School to provide classes for under 15s on Saturday afternoons.
Other improvements will include an increased number of meeting rooms and a new ‘welcome desk’ as people enter the building.
The Mede Sprint will still serve the community from the centre, in partnership with the Community Action on Transport and Training (CATT) bus service in Hartcliffe.
And the nearby Food Store which is run by the Inns Court Centre in partnership with the Matthew Tree Project and local churches will continue its work to fight food poverty in Knowle West.
Mr Palmer says of the new centre: “I think it’s got a rosy future… We want people to engage with it, there are lots of opportunities. It’s dependent on the community to make it happen.”
Anyone who would like to get involved and volunteer should pop in to Inns Court Centre in Marshall Walk or ring 0117 9041220.