Residents asked to dig deep for centre

Cllr Jean Fooks

Cllr Jean Fooks

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering North Oxford, Jericho and Summertown. Call me on 01865 425498

RESIDENTS living on Oxford’s Cutteslowe estate are being asked to make donations to save their community centre.

Last month trustees revealed that the centre was losing £2,000 every month and could shut by November.

But vice-chairman Sarah Pepys this week said a fightback was now under way to help raise funds to halt its decline, after final attempts to obtain more grants failed.

Volunteers from Cutteslowe Community Centre in Wren Road have canvassed more than 5,000 homes in the surrounding areas to raise awareness about their appeal and attract donations.

Community centre manager Allie Noel said: “So far we have had a really good response.

“We have leafleted local homes in the community, asking people to support us. That can be either through a one-off donation, or more regular ones.”

Earlier this year trustees of the centre were forced to make savings, by axing one full-time role and beginning to charge for some activities.

They have said that boosting the amount of money they make from renting the centre’s halls and kitchen will be key to their efforts.

It is hoped this can be accomplished by making the building more attractive and some improvements to rooms have already taken place.

Community association trustees have also appealed to city councillor Jean Fooks, the representative for Summertown, for the city council’s support.

The council maintains the building but does not make regular contributions to the association.

Liberal Democrat Mrs Fooks said she was trying to get council cash for the centre but the area had struggled to attract funding, because it is in the affluent Summertown ward.

She said: “I have been involved with this organisation for some 10 years now and have always thought the work it does is really important.

“The community it serves is still very deprived in some respects, just as much as areas like Blackbird Leys and Barton, and it needs these facilities.

“This is a worthwhile place that can do great things and we must keep it open.”

Money raised will help the centre continue running after-school clubs, seniors’ groups and playgroups for younger children.

And training opportunities are provided for those who are out of work or who want to change job.

Volunteers are needed for fundraising events and to help raise awareness of the campaign.

For more information or to donate visit cutteslowecommunity.org.uk

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Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:52pm Sat 19 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

Move to Blackbird Leys for funding.
Move to Blackbird Leys for funding. mytaxes
  • Score: 1

2:36pm Sat 19 Jul 14

H.J.Harris says...

mytaxes wrote:
Move to Blackbird Leys for funding.
We often read in this paper of the resources put into Blackbird Leys and Barton yet Cutteslowe must fend for themselves.
There could be an interesting article in this if there are any real journalists on the OM.
[quote][p][bold]mytaxes[/bold] wrote: Move to Blackbird Leys for funding.[/p][/quote]We often read in this paper of the resources put into Blackbird Leys and Barton yet Cutteslowe must fend for themselves. There could be an interesting article in this if there are any real journalists on the OM. H.J.Harris
  • Score: 1

4:48pm Sat 19 Jul 14

bart-on simpson says...

When you consider that under the dying days of New Labour of spend/spend/spend this community association passed a national test called 'visible' and hired a full-time community development worker, this is a very unfortuante turn of events.

Sounds like there was no planning ahead by the trustes and building up a reserve during those times of plenty.

I hope they can recover the situation.
When you consider that under the dying days of New Labour of spend/spend/spend this community association passed a national test called 'visible' and hired a full-time community development worker, this is a very unfortuante turn of events. Sounds like there was no planning ahead by the trustes and building up a reserve during those times of plenty. I hope they can recover the situation. bart-on simpson
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Sun 20 Jul 14

The New Private Eye says...

Ms Fooks house on St Bernards Rd is worth more than £800,000 (no mortgage) the value of property of councilors that live in North Oxford is in excess of £5million. surely they could afford less than 1% of their worth to keep open a much needed amenity. Or is it just the same old same old, I will campaign for you to get your vote, but do not expect any real action
Ms Fooks house on St Bernards Rd is worth more than £800,000 (no mortgage) the value of property of councilors that live in North Oxford is in excess of £5million. surely they could afford less than 1% of their worth to keep open a much needed amenity. Or is it just the same old same old, I will campaign for you to get your vote, but do not expect any real action The New Private Eye
  • Score: 6

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