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NEWS

 

 

For Fromus Centre news, click here.

 

 

 

MAJOR SETBACK FOR A SAXMUNDHAM COMMUNITY CENTRE

(SEPTEMBER, 2017)

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has just received the devastating news that their funding bid for £800,000 to the Big Lottery Fund has been declined, 5 months after its submission. This money was to go towards building a first purpose-built community centre for Saxmundham, within the next 2 years - to provide a range of leisure, social, training, and wellbeing activities.

SADCIC was formed by volunteers, 10 years ago, to help regenerate Saxmundham. Public exhibitions and two major surveys of local residents showed great dissatisfaction with the current poor state of amenities and registered the strong desire for a community hub to bring people together. Saxmundham has grown rapidly in the last 20 years and it is still growing steadily and, yet, it has never had a proper community centre.

Back in 2011, as a short-term interim measure, Suffolk County Council invited SADCIC to consider using their severely under-utilised ‘Saxmundham Resource Centre’ as a temporary community centre. In the last 5 years the SADCIC volunteer directors have worked 24/7 to gradually turn the building into a flourishing centre of community activities, ranging from parent & toddler classes and a weekend youth club to University of the Third Age (U3A) craft activities, including a wide variety of dance classes, Pilates and Tai Chi classes and even a pop-up SMILE Café.

Suffolk County Council is working closely with SADCIC to realise the vision of a purpose-built community centre for Saxmundham and has already committed some replacement land, at a peppercorn rent as well as additional matched funding.

“After a long and sustained 10-year struggle by our group of dedicated local volunteers, we are bitterly disappointed with the Lottery setback for Saxmundham. However, having come this far we‘re not about to give up but are resigned to the fact that the time horizon has probably just slipped yet another 2 years further back. As the Saxmundham Town Council is about to start work on a Neighbourhood Plan we will get behind that and see if it leads to new possibilities over the next 2 years. And, we will be re-contacting the Lottery to better understand their future outlook and possibly resubmit a funding bid in 2018” said Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman.

If you would like to volunteer to help with establishing the new Fromus Centre, help run the current centre or want to explore setting up a new activity, eg a yoga class or book or card club, then e-mail don@saxcommunity.co.uk or telephone 01728-604944. More information can be found on the websites www.saxcommunity.co.uk and www.fromuscentre.org.uk .

 

 

SADCIC RE-SUBMIT LOTTERY BID

TO FINALISE FUNDING FOR NEW FROMUS CENTRE

(MARCH, 2017)

For more information, click HERE

 

 

LOTTERY REQUEST MORE INFORMATION ON FROMUS CENTRE USERS

(JANUARY, 2017)

 

 

OUTLINE LOTTERY FUNDING BID SUBMITTED

(DECEMBER, 2016)

 

 

SUPPORT FOR A NEW FROMUS CENTRE, SADCIC PLANS & THE BIG LOTTERY BID

(OCTOBER 2016)

SADCIC have submitted our Stage 1 (of 3 stages) funding bid to the Big Lottery Fund - to help build a new Fromus Centre. We expect a Lottery response before the end of the year. If successful, SADCIC will need to produce more detailed information for Stage 2. Subject to successful funding bids, the target is to launch a new Fromus Centre in 2018...

Saxmundham (pop. c.5, 000 and growing) has never had a purpose-built community centre. For the past 5 years the Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) volunteers have established and developed a community hub by leasing part of an under-utilised building from SCC. The current premises provides a venue for some limited activities e.g. free careers advice, a job club, IT training, parent & toddlers play, youth club, U3A craft clubs, dance classes, Pilates, Tai Chi and a pop-up cafe.

We will now need to build a new replacement Fromus Centre - as a community hub for all Saxmundham area residents - as the current make-do premises are beyond economic repair and due for demolition, as part of a redevelopment scheme by Suffolk County Council (SCC).

SADCIC has secured local media coverage of plans, run a public exhibition and consulted with current activity providers in preparation for a postal survey of all Saxmundham households undertaken in spring 2016. The survey generated a 17% response with 90% of respondents calling for a modern community hub. Local amenities were described as limited, outdated, grim, depressing etc. There was a fear that recent gains from the current Fromus Centre activities would be lost without a suitable replacement.

Many new activities were called for e.g. adult learning and education courses, community radio / recording, drama / theatre, exercise / keep fit sessions, holiday play schemes and a lunch club for the elderly.

SCC has committed to providing SADCIC with a new site (before demolition of existing building), on a 125-year lease and at a peppercorn rent. The new Fromus Centre will be energy efficient and much cheaper to run, provide a more flexible space with a large hall, lockable storage, a state-of-the-art training room, a large kitchen serving a permanent cafe and a 'Changing Places' toilet.

A new hall and meeting rooms will provide space for members of the community to deliver and participate in a range of activities and events. The external area will provide 40 car parking spaces, including disability parking. New, purpose-built premises will provide for a broader range of activities and greater community engagement, strengthening social inclusion and fostering self-support, volunteering and further collaborations. For others there will be new skill training opportunities to improve employment and business opportunities. 

Rental income from our two social enterprise partners, Leading Lives and Realise Futures, plus hall/room hire rental revenues, plus revenues from occasional civic events, family celebrations and entertainment events will provide a steady income to sustain the new Fromus Centre. Personal development opportunities can also be created e.g. offering young adults the opportunity to volunteer and lead initiatives.

An outline design and facilities for a new building is being driven by the key stakeholders, including Saxmundham residents. The latest survey report has been uploaded onto the SADCIC website - see previous news item below - and there is a continuing dialogue with key partners and hub user groups.

There will be three main categories of beneficiary from our project.

First, the general community of Saxmundham, who will for the first time, have access to a purpose-built community centre offering a diversity of activities and services.  The most nearby community are mainly drawn from the less-well-off section of the town’s population.

Second, reflecting the existing user base of the Centre, the large numbers of people who – for a variety of reasons – are or feel themselves to be socially isolated or excluded.  These include people with learning disabilities, with mental health problems, or lonely elderly people, for example.

The third set of beneficiaries are the organisations (and sometimes individuals) themselves who use the centre to hold their own activities.

The new Fromus Centre will provide a much stronger, needed and purpose-built focal point for the rapidly growing community.

Very importantly, it will provide a community hub which they can take pride in - and willing to use - giving Saxmundham a greater sense of place and local life.

 

VILLAGE HALL VISITS

(JULY 2016)

During the months of May and June, SADCIC volunteer directors visited 6 new, or about to be built, village halls in Suffolk and Norfolk to gather information on building designs and kitting out, funding, services provided and operational issues to help prepare the way forward for the new Fromus Centre.

 

SURVEY SHOWS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FOR A NEW FROMUS CENTRE 

 (JUNE, 2016)

 

The report on the results of a recent survey of all Saxmundham households shows an overwhelming 90% of respondents wanting to see a new community enterprise centre - to replace the current Fromus Centre in Saxmundham. The survey, conducted by The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC), generated 288 completed postal questionnaires (a 17% response rate). The survey was prompted by Suffolk County Council’s plans to demolish the current Fromus Centre, leased to SADCIC, to make way for a new housing development. However, SCC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SADCIC to work in partnership to build a new purpose-built community hub on the site, to be paid for by SADCIC, who aim to raise the funding from sources such as the Lottery. The new Fromus Centre will then be owned and run by SADCIC. Work on the new building is planned to start in 2017/18 and it will be built elsewhere on the site before the old one is demolished, so that there is a smooth transition of services.

“As volunteers, SADCIC directors have worked 24/7 over the past 5 years, to build up the current Fromus Centre into a thriving community hub. Today it is used by a variety of community groups and clubs, generating many positive outcomes for users. So we are pleased to see that the community greatly values this work and doesn’t want it all to be thrown away. The survey shows a latent demand for even more activities and this was graphically demonstrated by the launch of a new Tai Chi class, in June, which produced over 30 members on its opening night!” said Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman.

The survey results showed that 40% households regularly use the current Fromus Centre. However, many felt that the current amenities of Saxmundham are dated, tired and not really fit for purpose. They were not seen as inviting places and Saxmundham has never had a purpose-built community centre. There was a strong demand for an exciting place to mix and get to know other residents.

“Saxmundham has virtually doubled in size in the last 20 years and even now 3 major housing developments are taking place. The town has a current population of approaching 5,000 and is still growing, with a significant number of newcomers to the town. Hence there is a pressing need for a new Fromus Centre,” added Don Tricker.

“From the survey we have noted the large number of people living alone and households with residents over 60, who are looking for somewhere to go and socialise with other residents. We aim to encourage those who wish to help these residents, by laying on vital health and social activities. And we will continue to meet the needs and wants of all residents, of all ages and abilities. We will do this working with our key partners, Suffolk County Council, Realise Futures and Leading Lives.”

The survey report has been printed and will be distributed to all three local authorities serving Saxmundham, as well as the local library and the doctor’s surgery. However, it is also available online at the SADCIC and Fromus Centre respective web sites, ie www.saxcommunity.co.uk and www.fromuscentre.org.uk.

If you would like to volunteer to help with establishing a new Fromus Centre, help run the current centre or want to explore setting up a new activity, eg a lunch club, then e-mail don@saxcommunity.co.uk or telephone 01728-604944.

 

For the full Saxmundham Survey Report, please CLICK HERE

 

 

HAVE YOUR SAY!

NEW FROMUS COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR SAXMUNDHAM

(JANUARY, 2016)

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) have exciting plans for a new community centre for the town and now need your views.

A Saxmundham survey of residents’ follows a successful public exhibition, held before Christmas, which unveiled plans for the new purpose-built Fromus Centre for Saxmundham.

A short survey questionnaire (with a pre-paid envelope) has been distributed to Saxmundham households with the January edition of Saxmundham News. Responses to the questionnaire will provide valuable feedback on the needs and wants of Saxmundham residents and will help shape and refine the new building, facilities and activities.

The deadline for returning completed questionnaires is the end of February and a full report of the findings will be made available by the end of March.

“If any Saxmundham household has mislaid or not received a questionnaire (delivered as a white envelope insert in the January issue of Saxmundham News), they should contact SADCIC via e-mail don@saxcommunity.co.uk, or phone 01728-604944 – with their name and full address. A survey questionnaire, and pre-paid envelope, will be delivered to them personally by one of our volunteers.”  Don Tricker, Chairman (SADCIC).

Further information on both SADCIC and the proposed new building can be found on the respective websites - www.saxcommunity.co.uk and www.fromuscentre.org.uk .

 

 

THE PROPOSED NEW FROMUS CENTRE CONSULTATION

(NOVEMBER, 2015)

 

 

In 2015, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) approached Morphy Lawrence Ltd (MLL) with a view to developing a concept design for a new Fromus Centre on the current site - to help realise the SADCIC brief and provide professional advice in relation to the design and procurement of the building.

MLL are a Saxmundham based architectural practice who have a history of working with community, Church and local amenity groups.

Proposed Floor Plan for the Ground Floor

This is essentially the area for general community use and provides a hall, storage, teaching kitchen, cafe, meeting room and toilets. The cafe occupies the entrance foyer and could operate 9am - 2pm Monday to Friday, allowing the area to be used for other activities in the afternoon and evening.

 

 

Proposed Floor Plan for the First Floor

This is the area occupied by the other two social enterprise tenants - Realise Futures and Leading Lives. They would be paying SADCIC rent and thus help to make the building self-sustaining. On this floor there would be a multi-media training centre primarily focussing on work-related training to help the unemployed and others to change jobs, offices, toilets and activity rooms for adults with learning disabilities. This floor would be accessed by both stairs and a lift.

 

 

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has recently signed an extended lease, with Suffolk County Council, to manage the community Fromus Centre - a community hub - for another 5 years, with plans to start building a new purpose-built Fromus Centre in 2018 - to replace the current old building which is becoming too expensive to maintain and will be due to be demolished, as part of the larger site development.

SADCIC was originally encouraged to set up, with seed corn funding, by Suffolk Coastal District Council, supported by Saxmundham Town Council, to help source alternative funding and add to local amenities. Its current work with the Fromus Centre also involves close partnership working with Suffolk County Council.This new community hub would provide an inclusive resource for all local residents for a whole range of activities.

SADCIC, managed entirely by local volunteers, has in the past 4 years built up the current centre into a thriving, and sustainable, community hub for Saxmundham, catering for a range of uses and for all ages and backgrounds. The Fromus Centre has a number of meeting rooms, a kitchen and a large hall, all available for general hire.  Meetings rooms can be hired for as little as £3 per hour, for local community groups and, sited in Seaman Avenue, the Fromus Centre is well positioned as regards transport and provides plenty of free on-site parking.

The current Fromus Centre now hosts groups ranging from Parent & Toddlers to University of the Third Age and from a cooking club to a singing club. As well as community groups, it also hosts various formal and informal training activities ranging from IT training to food safety training. And, every week there is the pop-up SMILE Café catering for a range of vulnerable adults, carers and support workers.

Using this valuable experience, SADCIC has been working on producing a draft outline specification and design for a new Fromus Centre, with the aim of work starting on it in 2017.

Now SADCIC is embarking on a consultation and research exercise with local residents to help refine these plans and to finalise the business case and, by the end of March, 2016, SADCIC will be submitting various grant bids to raise funds for the new building and its facilities.

The current building is owned by Suffolk County Council and has 3 social enterprise tenants – SADCIC, Leading Lives and Realise Futures, with a strong bias towards providing activities and services for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults of the area.

The new Fromus Centre will again house the 3 enterprises but it will be owned and managed by SADCIC, with a lengthy lease on the land on which it stands, granted by Suffolk County Council. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SADCIC, Suffolk County Council (which owns the whole site) is working with SADCIC to provide an optimum solution for all.

Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman, says” We are proud of the volunteer hard work we have put in so far to prove a successful - and just as important, a commercially sustainable - working model of a community facility. And now we are at a crossroads, poised for a major step-level change, to provide an exciting new building which although smaller will be far more flexible and should prove even more popular – a building and facilities that all Saxmundham residents can be truly proud of.”

The current Fromus Centre building has over 1,000 square metres of floor space - but we recognise that the building is now expensive to run and maintain and a significant amount of space is wasted / not used. However, our current estimated requirement - for a flexible floor space to accommodate SADCIC’s community centre requirements along with Leading Lives and Realise Futures requirements - is for something of the order of 600 square metres – a 40% reduction. This would be provided by a two storey building with a lift.

 The core of the future Community Enterprise Centre resources would include:

  • Reception
  • Two Offices
  • A Large Hall for general community use (larger than the current Fromus Centre hall)
  • A Community Café (to seat at least 30)
  • A Multi-Media Training / Meeting Room (to hold up to 20)
  • Two General Activity Rooms
  • Disabled Toilets
  • Storage cupboards
  • Parking (20 spaces)

These resources will be employed to continue work on, and improve on, the following community issues of:

  • Improving Health & Wellbeing
  • Strengthening Educational Engagement & Employability Opportunities
  • Improving Safer Community
  • Reducing Social Isolation
  • Stimulating Volunteering & Civic Participation

 

See below for details of public exhibition / consultation

of the proposed new building and floor plans.

Drop in, have a free coffee and discuss all the posible uses

and activities for a new Fromus Centre - and then fill in the feedback form

New Fromus Centre feedback form

 

 

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON PLANS FOR NEW FROMUS CENTRE

(OCTOBER, 2015)

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) will be holding a drop in public exhibition at the Fromus Centre on Friday evening Nov.27th , running 6.30pm – 9.30pm, and Saturday morning Nov.28th, running 9.30am – 12.30pm. This event is being staged to give local residents more information on SADCIC plans for a new Fromus Centre to be built, on the same site in Seaman Avenue, Saxmundham, by 2018.

There will be drawings and information displays. Refreshments will be provided and visitors will be encouraged to browse the displays, talk to the volunteer SADCIC directors and provide comments and feedback on the forms provided. Leading Lives and Realise Futures, who are joint tenants in the current building and plan to move into the new building, will also have a presence at the exhibition.

“For the past four years the volunteer SADCIC directors have successfully run the current Fromus Centre as a self-sustaining resource - to be used by all the community.  The centre now hosts many and varied activities and events for most needs and wants. And now, with support from Suffolk County Council, we have the opportunity to design and build a new Fromus Centre – based on our existing knowledge of demand and potential improvements. We have been discussing this for the past months and would now like to share our thoughts with local residents and gather their impressions and thoughts.”  Steve Palmer, SADCIC Secretary.

To learn more about the current Fromus Centre and a summary of what is envisaged, please visit   www.fromuscentre.org.uk .

 

 

 

SADCIC DONATES £500 to the 2015 SAX MUSIC FEST

(JULY, 2015)

 

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has donated £500 to the Brook Farm Residents Association, as a contribution to their annual Sax Music Fest.

“We are delighted to support this very worthy free music festival, which is being laid on for all the local residents. We are particularly pleased to note the proactive efforts made by the BFRA to ensure that is an inclusive event and does positively reach out to everyone.” says Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman.

“It’s always welcoming to know that fellow community groups support our work for the community and in this case the donation is going towards the running of a marquee to involve adults with additional needs in a fun musical jamming session.” says Terry Barrow, BFRA Social .

The free Sax Music Fest will be held on the Memorial Field on Saturday, July 25th and will provide a day of music and family fun. There will be a mix of live bands culminating late evening with the leading ABBA tribute band, Abba Chique. There will be various other activities taking place on the day and plenty of refreshment options, including a beer & wine tent, as well as tea and cakes.

The BFRA, now one of the largest residents associations in East Anglia, was set up by volunteer residents over 10 years ago and now organises various community social events.

For further information on the Sax Music Fest, click here.

For further information on the BFRA, click here.

 

 

SADCIC PLANS FOR A BRAND NEW FROMUS CENTRE

(MAY, 2015)

 

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has recently signed an extended lease, with Suffolk County Council, to manage the community Fromus Centre for another 5 years, with plans to build a new purpose-built Fromus Centre within that time-frame.

SADCIC, managed entirely by local volunteers, has in the past 3 years built up the current centre into a thriving, and sustainable, community hub for Saxmundham, catering for a range of uses and for all ages and backgrounds. The Fromus Centre has a number of meeting rooms, a kitchen and a large hall, all available for general hire.  Meetings rooms can be hired for as little as £3 per hour, for local community groups and, sited in Seaman Avenue, the Fromus Centre is well positioned as regards transport and provides plenty of free on-site parking.

SADCIC was originally encouraged to set up, with seed corn funding, by Suffolk Coastal District Council, supported by Saxmundham Town Council, to help source alternative funding and add to local amenities. Its current work with the Fromus Centre also involves partnership working with Suffolk County Council.

The Fromus Centre now hosts groups ranging from Parent & Toddlers to University of the Third Age and from a cooking club to a singing club. As well as community groups, it also hosts various formal and informal training activities ranging from IT training to food safety training. And, every week there is the pop-up SMILE Café catering for a range of vulnerable adults, carers and support workers.

Using this valuable experience, SADCIC has been working on producing a draft outline specification and design for a new Fromus Centre, with the aim of work starting on it in 2017.

Later this year, SADCIC will embark on a consultation and research exercise with local residents to help refine these plans and to finalise the business case and, by the end of 2015, SADCIC will be submitting various grant bids to raise funds for the new building and its facilities.

The current building is owned by Suffolk County Council and has 3 social enterprise tenants – SADCIC, Leading Lives and Realise Futures, with a strong bias towards providing activities and services for disadvantaged and vulnerable adults of the area.

The new Fromus Centre will again house the 3 enterprises but it will be owned and managed by SADCIC, with a lengthy lease on the land on which it stands, granted by Suffolk County Council. Having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with SADCIC, Suffolk County Council (which owns the whole site) is working with SADCIC to provide an optimum solution for all.

Meanwhile SADCIC continues to sponsor local events including the 2015 Sax Music Fest and, at the Fromus Centre, SADCIC is hosting two new innovations to the Saxmundham calendar - a Saxmundham Wellbeing Fair and a spring pantomime of Dick Whittington and his Cat.

Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman, says” We are proud of the volunteer hard work we have put in so far to prove a successful - and just as important, a commercially sustainable - working model of a community facility. And now we are at a crossroads, poised for a major step-level change, to provide an exciting new building which although smaller will be far more flexible and should prove even more popular – a building and facilities that Saxmundham residents can be truly proud of.”

 

 

 

 

SADCIC AND SCC

SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

(FEBRUARY, 2014)

Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger with Don Tricker on a visit to the Fromus Centre in Saxmundham to review progress and discuss future plans.

Suffolk’s localities leader has visited a Saxmundham social centre to discuss future plans for the building.

Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger from Suffolk County Council visited the Fromus Centre to also review progress.

The building was formerly the Saxmundham Community Resource Unit, and was taken over by volunteer directors at Saxmundham and District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) two years ago.

Ms Hopfensperger looks over the council’s “Our Place” programme, which supports local community groups in determining and managing local services for themselves.

Ms Hopfensperger said: “I’m truly impressed with what has taken place with this building, through the concerted efforts of just a handful of dedicated local volunteers.

“This is a shining example of what can be achieved with the new “Our Place” approach by Suffolk County Council.

“As a result, Suffolk County Council has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SADCIC - as a declaration of intent that we will work closely with them to help realise our joint aspirations for even more exciting developments on this site.”

Don Tricker, SADCIC Chairman said: “SADCIC are now looking to work with Suffolk County Council to develop the whole site, which would include the design and building of a new purpose built Fromus Centre.

“SADCIC would need to raise the necessary funding for this venture but we appreciate Suffolk County Council’s gesture in signing the MOU to support us with this ambitious vision.”

report and photo, courtesy of Archant

The original article appeared in the East Anglian Daily Times (15/2/14)

 

 

 

 

SADCIC COMPLETES THE FROMUS CENTRE

REBRANDING & REFURBISHMENT PROGRAMME

(OCTOBER, 2013)

Over the first two years of management, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has been carrying out an overhaul of the building that they now manage on behalf of Suffolk County Council.

With a small initial grant, significant budget savings and ever-growing room rental revenues, SADCIC has revitalised the Fromus Centre - both in fabric, decorations and facilities.

Here is a summary of these major improvements:

  1. Created new identity  - the Fromus Centre (formerly known as the Saxmundham Resource Centre)
  2. Established new pricing / booking procedure and T & C’s
  3. Established new external / building signage
  4. Changed  access / security  to building / rooms  + cleared out rubbish!
  5. Selected new service providers – local / cheaper
  6. Cleared historic blocked drains under building
  7. Worked with volunteer Alde Valley School student to create Fromus Centre website
  8. Purchased online booking system (accessed via website)
  9. Redecorated main hall + 3 meeting rooms + entrance area + corridor
  10. Laid new sheet vinyl floor in hall
  11. Installed new wall-mounted TV in hall (for training / electronic games screen)
  12. Installed new amplifier in hall to connect up all 4 existing speakers
  13. Installed new disco / drama lighting system in the hall
  14. Replaced all light units in hall, corridor and reception
  15. Replaced 3 radiators and installed heating controls on all radiators
  16. Purchased  12 new folding tables + 2 stacking trolleys  + 75 stackable chairs
  17. Purchased new crockery for large meeting / conference refreshments
  18. Replaced rotten wood on window surrounds and repainted the front of the building
  19. Improved external  landscaping
  20. Produced a Fromus Centre leaflet
  21. Installed of a baby-changing facility.
  22. Installed a wall-mounted large presentation screen in the hall.
  23. Repaired the pot-holes in the turning-circle road outside the Fromus Centre

 

SADCIC DELIVERS FOR SAXMUNDHAM

(MAY, 2013)

For the past 14 months The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) has focussed its efforts on the revitalisation of the newly created Fromus Centre, in Seaman Avenue, Saxmundham. This is a building owned by Suffolk County Council, formerly known as the Saxmundham Resource Centre, and is now leased to and run by SADCIC. This is a leading example of SCC’s “Our Place” initiative. The building was formerly underutilised and in need of an uplift. As the re-branded Fromus Centre, it has been steadily refurbished, new facilities have been added and it is now being used by more and more community groups and local enterprises, for regular activities and meetings.

“Through efficiency savings on running the building, and revenues earned from hiring out the hall and meetings rooms, SADCIC has built up a financial surplus of over £12,000. And, as a social enterprise run entirely by volunteers and no paid directors, all this money is being re-invested into the Fromus Centre” reported Phil Peeling, Volunteer Director, SADCIC “ The hall floor, in particular, was cracking up and has been taken up and completely replaced with new flooring.”

 

 

The hall and meeting rooms have been repainted, the hall has had a complete new floor laid, audio-visual facilities are being installed in the hall, new tables and chairs have been delivered, new crockery is on order, key lighting inside and outside of the building is being replaced, the building frontage is being cleaned up, and the grounds are being enhanced with some improved landscaping.

“We have had a steady stream of enquiries to hire the hall and meeting rooms and the number of hirers has grown to over 25. Rooms can be hired from as little as £3 per hour and with all these new facilities we expect to demand to grow still further” added Don Tricker, Volunteer Director, SADCIC.

“The Fromus Centre in Saxmundham has already achieved a great deal and with a concerted effort by all will enhance the social and  business amenities of the town to the benefit of local people.” stated County Cllr. Michael Gower. “The Fromus Centre is a beacon project for Suffolk County Council’s “Our Place” initiative, to enable community groups to take on and develop county buildings for the benefit of their local community.”

"What a great achievement - this is 'Our Place' working at it's best." Cllr Rebecca Hopfensperger, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Localities.

"Very impressive!"  Tony Osmanski - Strategic Director. Suffolk Coastal District Council.

 

 

THE FROMUS CENTRE - THE FIRST 12 MONTHS

(OCTOBER, 2012)

 

It’s been 12 months since the volunteer directors of The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) took over the management of the greatly under-utilised Suffolk County Council’s Saxmundham Community Resource Centre, in Seaman Avenue. Since then the SADCIC social enterprise volunteers have redecorated and refurbished the building, renamed it the Fromus Centre and re-launched it with a successful Fun Day this summer, with over 300 visitors coming to have a look around. Now the building is developing into a more lively community enterprise centre used by various community groups, with activities for all age groups ranging from parent and toddlers to IT workshops for the over 50’s. It is now available for meetings, conferences, celebration events, children parties, fun activities and local clubs and groups. “We want these premises to be seen by local residents, groups and businesses as your place in Saxmundham to relax, meet, chat, learn, exercise, play and have fun!” says volunteer SADCIC director, Don Tricker.

 

“The creation of the Fromus Centre in Saxmundham is a comprehensive and fine example of a project which will increase the social and business amenities in the town.” says County Cllr. Rae Leighton. “The Fromus Centre is a beacon project for Suffolk County Council’s “Our Place” initiative, to enable community groups to take on and develop county buildings for the benefit of their local community.”

New activities are starting all the time, including various dance classes, and on October 4th there will be the start of the weekly pop-up SMILE Café, aimed at reducing social isolation and providing emotional support for all Carers, as well as adults with additional mental health needs. It will be open every Thursday from 10am to 2pm, starting as a coffee snack bar, and provide a friendly place to relax, unwind and talk to others. Information advice and guidance will be on hand from visiting professionals and public agencies. For more information, please visit www.smile-cafe.org.uk .

For more information on the Fromus Centre and booking details, please visit www.fromuscentre.org.uk or call 01728-604944.

 

 

                                    FUN DAY AT THE FROMUS CENTRE

                                                              (JULY, 2012)

 

On Saturday July 7th, a day when other parts of the country were suffering torrential downpours, Saxmundham was bathed in glorious sunshine for the Fromus Centre Fun Day. Over 300 people, both young and old, streamed to the event throughout the day. There were displays, activities and refreshment both indoors and outside on the grassed areas, providing a great carnival atmosphere.

There was something for everyone, ranging from a traditional Punch & Judy show to a modern Pimms bar. There was plenty of ice cream and dancing displays from the PASTEL Morris Team, the Mystic Belly dancers and an audience participation of Zumba dancing. Bouncy castles, big and small, were on hand with games and stalls provided by local community groups and a PA system provided music which added to the community event.

The day was sponsored by The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) - to help promote the newly refurbished Fromus Centre and the community groups who currently use it, or about to start. Such was the success that 3 bookings were taken on the day and requests for future events have been requested.

It was a wonderful day and a leading example of Suffolk County Council’s ‘Our Place’ initiative delivering a real local difference – a positive example of the ‘big society’ in action. SADCIC volunteers were delighted by the very positive feedback we received. It was amazing how many people didn't know of the existence of the building or didn't know it was for community use. We are now being encouraged to develop a range of more community supported events throughout the year. The Fromus Centre is a resource for all the community and the Fun Day has been all about making people aware of its existence. It is here for everyone to use, whether for their own events, celebrations or club activities and meetings.

 

TESCO SELECTS FROMUS CENTRE AS FORWARD BASE

(APRIL, 2012)

 

In planning to open a new store in Saxmundham, TESCO has chosen to use the Fromus Centre to support the front-line project planning. The advance team will base themselves at the Fromus Centre making use of its wide range of facilities to plan for the store fitting out, recruitment of staff and staff training. The store will open on May 21st.

 

NEW FROMUS CENTRE WEBSITE

(MARCH, 2012)

 

Megan Lucock, a Business Studies student at Leiston High School (soon to become the Alde Valley School) has designed and created a new website to not only promote the Fromus Centre but also to help with bookings.

The East Anglian Daily Times reported this community volunteer work. To view the news report, please click here

The new website can be found at www.fromuscentre.org.uk

 

 

THE FROMUS CENTRE GEARS UP FOR THE COMMUNITY

(FEBRUARY, 2012)

Work has started on re-inforcing the branding of the new Fromus Centre - starting with repairs to the internal hall roofing, followed by re-painting the internal hall roofing and re-painting all the hall walls, and integral coffee bar. The external locks and access arrangements have been changed to make them simpler and more secure. New furniture in the form of folding tables and folding chairs have been ordered. And finally, in this first phase, the external and internal signage will be changed and improved.

Next month we are expecting a Fromus Centre Marketing Plan to be produced, by a volunteer Business Studies student of Leiston High School. She will also be delivering, as part of her Marketing Plan, an integrated website, poster and leaflet to promote the new Fromus Centre - ready to promote the new community enterprise centre and facilities for the community use of Saxmundham and neighbouring villages.

This community activity is being carried out by the local social enterprise, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company, as a co-production with Suffolk County Council. The new Fromus Centre is a leading example of the new strategic "Our Place" initiative, delivering the "Big Society" on the ground in Saxmundham. This new enterprise aims to invigorate the building and turn it into a thriving and vibrant centre for community activities.

 

SAXMUNDHAM TO GAIN NEW "FROMUS CENTRE"

(OCTOBER, 2011)

On October 1 st , Suffolk County Council divested the management of the old Saxmundham Community Resource Centre to the social enterprise SADCIC (The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company). SADCIC are tasked with reducing the running cost of the building while stimulating greater use of the facilities by local community groups. SADCIC intend to source some initial funding to revamp the décor and introduce some more new furniture to make the building space more attractive to potential hirers and users. To underline these changes, and its wider targetted audience, the building will be renamed The Fromus Centre.

 

More changes will follow as the SADCIC volunteer directors start to implement their Business Plan. They will be looking to collaborate with other local enterprises to create a vibrant centre for the local community to enjoy leisure, social, health and training activities.

 

The building is sited in a quiet cul-de-sac with its own grounds and free car parking, close to the A12 and Saxmundham rail station and, in recent years, has been greatly underutilised.

 

“We’re about to draw up a Marketing Plan and we hope to do this working in conjunction with Leiston High School and their Business Study students. We want the community, including the youth of the area, to get involved in adopting this building and its facilities, as their own, for leisure use.” Don Tricker, Volunteer SADCIC Director

 

“This is the embodiment of Suffolk County Council’s idea of the “Our Place” initiative, building local community capacity to deliver the “Big Society” on the ground.” Cllr. Rae Leighton

 

“I think it’s wonderful that Saxmundham has risen to the challenge. I think these are exciting times and I wish everyone well with this project” Therese Coffey MP

 

 

THE SAXMUNDHAM COMMUNITY RESOURCE CENTRE

TO BE RUN BY LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUP

(AUGUST, 2011)

 

The Saxmundham and District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) are expecting to take over management of the Saxmundham Resource Centre in Seaman Avenue on 1 October 2011 . The new arrangements follow advanced discussions with Suffolk County Council (SCC) who will retain ownership of the building. The Adult Community Services operations run by SCC will continue unaffected by the change in buildings management.

 

SADCIC, a leading community interest company in Suffolk will be one of the first organisations in the county to grasp the opportunities presented by the SCC divestment programme. The main aims of the project are to significantly ramp up the level of community use of the building whilst reducing overall running costs.

The proposed handover date is 1 st October 2011 . If any community groups are interested in using the building please contact SADCIC - see "contact us" page.

In due course, the plan is to enhance the facilities and rename the building as The Fromus Centre.

A meeting of interested parties is planned for mid September where individual groups will be able to register their interest. Details will be posted on the website.

 

Other exciting plans for SADCIC include converting the Saxmundham Middle School - becoming redundant in 2012 - to the proposed Saxmundham Community Enterprise Centre, with commercial office space and community areas, opening in 2013.

 

 

SADCIC VOLUNTEER DIRECTOR ELECTED

TO SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL

(MAY 5th, 2011)

On May 5th, 2011 Don Tricker, a volunteer director with SADCIC

 

(and the PASTEL Community Interest Company) entered the election for the town council,

came in 4th and was duly elected onto the Saxmundham Town Council.

   

 

SADCIC / SCC PUBLIC CONSULTATION

(MARCH 25th & 26th, 2011)

 

At the end of March (2011) there was another in a series of public consultion exercises in the Saxmundham Markert Hall. This one covered Suffolk County Council's "New Strategic Direction", the "Big Society" and the opportunities for Saxmundham, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) it's history and vision for the future, the proposed SADCIC Community Enterprise Centre and the future of Saxmundham Library.

There were over 120 attendees and plenty of opprtunity to browse the exhibition displays and talk to senior representatives from Suffolk County Council and The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC).

 

The Friday evening agenda was:


6.30pm – 7.00pm View Exhibition Registration and Refreshments

7.00pm – 7.05pm Welcome and Introduction -
Col. (Retd) Ron Warren MBE, Volunteer Chair, SADCIC

7.05pm – 7.20pm SCC New Strategic Direction
Councillor Jane Storey, Deputy Leader, SCC

7.20pm – 7.30pm The ‘Big Society’ and the opprtunity for social enterprise for Saxmundham and District
Councillor Rae Leighton, Blything Division

7.30pm – 7.40pm  Questions from audience
Councillor Ken Howe, Saxmundham Town Council

7.40pm – 7.50pm The SADCIC Model - history and plans
Robin Potter, SADCIC Volunteer Director

7.50pm – 8.00pm The SADCIC Community Enterprise Centre proposition and programme
Steve Palmer SADCIC Volunteer Director

8.00pm – 8.10pm Questions from audience
Councillor Ken Howe, Saxmundham Town Council

8.10pm – 8.20pm Library Services – SCC consultation and options for future delivery
Cllr. Judy Terry, SCC Cabinet Lead on the Libraries Consultation.

8.20pm – 8.30pm  Local Research & Consultation – Results and tonight’s feedback
Don Tricker, SADCIC Volunteer Director

8.30pm – 8.40.pm General Questions from audience
Councillor Ken Howe, Saxmundham Town Council

8.40pm – 8.45pm Close of Session
Col. (Retd) Ron Warren MBE, Volunteer Chair, SADCIC

8.45pm – 9.30pm View Exhibition, informal discussion and refreshments

9.30pm Close

 

10am - 1pm the following Saturday morning the exhibition continued for viewing

and informal discussion with SADCIC volunteer directors.

Also in attendance were Cllr. Rae Leighton and Therese Coffey MP for Suffolk Coastal.

 

***   To see the presentation slides used, please click here. ***

***   To see the attendee feedback, please click here. ***

 

 

SADCIC DISCUSS THE COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE CENTRE

ON BBC RADIO SUFFOLK

(OCTOBER, 2010)

Volunteer director of SADCIC, Don Tricker was interviewed by BBC Radio Suffolk to talk about working with Suffolk County Council on a Feasability Study to look at transforming the soon-to-be redundant Saxmundham Middle School into the proposed Saxmundham Community Enterprise Centre for the whole community of Saxmundham and the surrounding parishes.

 

SADCIC AND SUFFOLK COUNTY COUNCIL

ESTABLISH A JOINT PROJECT BOARD

(SEPTEMBER, 2010)

Following a number of local public meetings and discussions with Suffolk County Council, The Saxmundham & Disctrict Community Interest Company (SADCIC)) has formed a Joint Project Board with Suffolk County Council. This Joint Project Board will now work to produce a Feasability Study for transforming the soon-to-be redundant Saxmundham Middle School into a Community Enterprise Centre, for 2012-2013. In particular the group will be looking at balancing revenue-earninfg commercial uses eg offices and a conference / traing centre subsidising potential community uses eg new enlarged library, community cafe, sports hall, community radio station and assorted meeting rooms.

The possible conference / training centre could also be doubled up to provide an area for civic functions, such an weddings and anniversary parties.Thus the building and facilities would be opened up and developed for all the local community.The Board would also have representation from Suffolk Coastal District Council and Saxmundham Town Council, both of whom have activily encouraged and supported SADCIC.

The inaugural meeting of the Joint Project Board took place on September 16th.and will now meet bi-monthly.

 

 

SADCIC DISCUSS SUPERMARKETS ON BBC RADIO SUFFOLK

(JULY, 2010)

Volunteer director of SADCIC, Robn Potter was invited by BBC Radio Suffolk to join a discussion about supermarkets in Suffolk  - and, in particular, the imminent arrival of Tesco in Saxmundham, who will be sited opposite Waitrose who are already here...

 

 

SADCIC PUBLIC MEETINGS ON THE PROPOSED

COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE CENTRE

(MAY, 2010)

 

The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) held two public meetings on the evening of Friday, May 14th and morning of Saturday, May 15th. These were held at the Saxmundham Middle School.

Around 120 key stakeholder organisations and local residents attended - including our newly elected Conservative MP, Therese Coffey and the runner-up Daisy Cooper (Lib Dem) - and gave their overwhelming support to the proposed SADCIC Community Enterprise Centre.

The Saxmundham Middle School is due to close In the summer of 2012 as part of the county’s school organisation review and SADCIC, formed three years ago by Saxmundham volunteers, wants to take it over and turn it into a local amenity for all the community.

SADCIC’s flagship project is a Community Enterprise Centre which meets a wide array of needs expressed by the local population. This centre could potentially include significant office and business areas, supported by advanced IT facilities, a public library and information centre, a conference and high-tech training facility, a recording studio and community radio station, a youth centre, a fitness suite, a café, a commercial kitchen and dining area, a bar and several meeting areas and a crèche. The building would be an inclusive multi-function, multi-agency building for use by everyone for both enterprise and community use – a place for work, rest and play.

 

The Community Enterprise Centre would be a mix of commercial enterprise interests to generate revenues to pay for the maintenance of the building and subsidise community interests – to ensure long-term sustainability of the concept.

 

 

    SADCIC DIRECTOR IN STARS OF SUFFOLK

    (MARCH 2010)

Suffolk County Council and The Evening Star sponsor the Stars of Suffolk Awards to find and recognise "people of inspiration, bravery and compassion...shining lights in the lives of others because of their extraordinary achievements."

There were over 200 nominations for the 2010 Stars of Suffolk Awards and a founder director of SADCIC, Don Tricker was one of three finalists in the "Community Group or Champion of the Year" category. This placing was in recognition for volunteered services to the community, which apart from volunteer work as a founder/director of SADCIC also covered being a founder/director of PASTEL and founder of the Brook Farm Residents Association - the largest residents' association in Suffolk.

 

For the full listing of finalists, click here .

 

SADCIC PRESENT TO

THE SUFFOLK COASTAL LOCAL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

(JUNE 2009)

To view the PowerPoint presentation, please click here

 

  SADCIC DIRECTOR IN 2009 SUFFOLK HONOURS LIST

(JUNE 2009)

The Queen's Birthday Honours List awards those who have " gone the extra mile to make a difference to the lives of people around them".Community Voluntary and Local Services make up 43% of the awards.

Lt Colonel Ron Warren, Saxmundham Town councillor and SADCIC director, receives the MBE in recognition for the work he undertakes in the community of Saxmundham.

For the full honours listing, click here

 

SAXMUNDHAM TOWN COUNCIL ENDORSES THE SAXMUNDHAM COMMUNITY PLAN

(MAY 2009)

Following a presentation to, and discussion with, the Saxmundham Town Council, at a special meeting, the council has formally endorsed the plan and the integral Action Plan.And as a measure of their support, a delegation of four councillors (including the council's Chairman), has pledged to work closely with SADCIC to develop the Action Plan and SADCIC's flagship project of a Community Enterprises Centre.

 

VOLUNTEERS GET ORGANISED

(MAY 2009)

Following the March public meeting, twenty volunteers had come forward to offer their help. Following two meetings in may, the volunteers have been grouped into four working paties:

1.) Steering Group
2.) User Group – negotiate / liase with community and commercial users
3.) Building Design Group – negotiate site options, plan/design building (planning permission, environmental features)
4.) Business group – Business Plan, Grant applications, Contracts

NB. If you would like to volunteer to join the team,

please use the "contact us" page to get in contact.

 

SADCIC SUPPORTS SUFFOLK UNIVERSITY's JOBS FAIR:

(APRIL, 2009)

 

Two of SADCIC's volunteer directors, Phil Peeling (l) and Terry Barrow (r), manning the SADCIC exhibition - promoting Saxmundham and seeking student volunteers from all disciplines to join a broad-based community regeneration programme covering economic, social and environmental issues.

Phil and Terry were also supported, at the event, by Don Tricker, another SADCIC volunteer director.

Several students have expressed interest and discussions will follow...

 

 

PUBLIC MEETING

(MARCH, 2009)

Despite some requests for more sustained publicity, over 100 interested parties managed to pop into the Saxmundham Market Hall, on Saturday morning of March 21 st , to inspect, and discuss, the drawings for the proposed new Community Enterprise Centre for Saxmundham. Local town and county councillors were present, along with local MP John Gummer.

The social enterprise, The Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC), presented its research report, the Saxmundham Community Plan and illustrative architectural drawings of the Community Enterprise Centre. Visitors were interested in the likely sites of the Community Enterprise Centre and seeking reassurance that local taxes weren’t part of the funding requirements. The mood of the day was very buoyant with many “bouquets” for the volunteer directors of SADCIC and the hard work they’ve put in to date. Many commented on the thorough and professional approach taken and the exciting possibilities that were being proposed.

Overall there was widespread support and strong encouragement for the proposal given that many thought that Saxmundham had suffered a loss of amenities and facilities in recent years and a corresponding growth of housing stretching the existing infrastructure. .

The illustrated Community Enterprise Centre could contain a new library with an internet café, a large hall for indoor sports such as basketball, badminton and 5-a-side football which could also double as an entertainment/conference centre seating 400 people, a dedicated youth club base and innovative facilities such as a recording studio and a community radio station, to reflect local wishes.

Calls for another public meeting later in the year to review progress will be taken up by SADCIC and, meanwhile, SADCIC directors invigorated by the enthusiastic public feedback will continue to develop the concept.

SADCIC will now be sitting down with other bodies such as Saxmundham Town Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and Suffolk County Council to discuss their role in moving the whole Community Plan forward.

 

As soon as the doors opened local residents filed in to find out more about possible potential improvements to local amenities and facilities.
They were able to see the mass survey results, the newly compiled Saxmundham Community Plan and illustrative drawings of the proposed Community Enterprise Centre
All visitors were encouraged to study the displays and reports, ask questions of the SADCIC (volunteer) directors and write down their comments, queries and suggestions.
Phil Peling, one of the SADCIC volunteer directors explains to Rendham residents how these developments are designed to address the needs of surrounding parishes too.
Thora Taylor, Police Community Support Officer, discusses support for the formation of a new youth group with Town Cllr. Cheleigh Trotter-Langlois, leading the new venture.
Richard Broom (left), the Area Youth Work Manager with Suffolk County Council also discusses the need for more local partnership working on youth issues with John Fisher, Leader of Saxmundham Town Council.
Phil gets a grilling from District Cllr. Marian Andrews and is happy to oblige by explaing the scope of SADCIC's plans and discussing the role for local authorities to join in the partnership to accelerate positive change.
Suffolk County Councillor, Rae Leighton (right) explores the various potential involvements for the County Council to further its support of this exciting local initiative.He requests further information for his fellow councillors.
Local MP,John Gummer, is enthused by the sheer vision and scale of the work of the 6 volunteer SADCIC directors and pledges his whole-hearted support.

 

PUBLIC CONSULTATIONS AND MASS SURVEY OF LOCAL RESIDENTS

(SUMMER 2008)

During July and August 2008 the volunteer directors of the Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company (SADCIC) organised a mass postal survey of households in Saxmundham and the surrounding area - to help build a picture of local needs and wants, prior to initiating discussions with Suffolk County Council and preparing major funding bids to the Lottery and other funding bodies.

The survey, involving the mailing of over 5,500 questionnaires, covered the parishes of Benhall & Sternfield, Farnham and Stratford St Andrew, Friston, Gt.Glemham, Kelsale cum Carlton, Peasenhall, Rendham, Saxmundham, Sibton, Snape, Sweffling and Yoxford - most of IP17. The mailing took place between June 10th and June 20th.

The SADCIC consultations with residents and local community and voluntary groups, social enterprises, local businesses and other local agencies and bodies has pointed to the possibility of a multi-agency, multi-use "Community Enterprise Centre" being designed and built in 2011-2012.

It was important that as many local people as possible express their feeling by responding to the survey, which included a pre-paid envelope to post back completed questionnaires. These findings formed a key part of the evidence required for the Business Plan (to be completed in the latter half of 2009) and the subsequent funding bids, which will start in 2010. The bidding/funding process is complex in its self and will probably take the best part of a year to process.

 

 

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