Noah's Ark Centre
The Noah's Ark will be a central hub for the community, with a cafe, facilities for children and youth, various support services and opportunities for people to be a community together. We have received fantastic support to date. Our next target is to raise ~£55,000 for the youth area.
March 2011 - June 2012
Noah's Ark Centre
Through outgrowing our existing building, completing a community survey and meeting with local organisations we have identified a need to develop a 'Third Place' (after home and work). In other words, a place where people, across the generations, can come together as a community. The lack of such a place creates various problems, including isolation for single mums in the evenings, fear between the elderly and the youth, young people hanging around causing fear and damaging property.
The centre has been planned following extensive consultation with local organisations, including the local Children and Families Centre, the local schools, the local housing association (SLH) and the police and through a community questionnaire. From this various needs have been identified including a low cost cafe, laundrette, support services (e.g. debt support), space for supervised contact for families, youth facilities with an intergenerational focus and volunteering opportunities.
Reduce isolation for the elderly
Activities» Expand the weekly lunch in the larger facility, with more suitable kitchen. This includes Active Ageing potentially using the Noah's Ark daily.
» Plan specific cafe times to encourage the elderly to meet together informally, such as pensioners lunch time special.
» Run regular intergenerational activities, such as tea dances, pamper sessions, reminiscing times with support from the local Secondary School.
Increasing attendance at the elderly lunch (currently 30), supporting Age Concern and having a weekly cafe offer, which encourages the elderly to meet independently
To improve employability through volunteering
Activities» Continue to work with Rathbone (local youth training centre) to provide work experience for their construction and catering trainees.
» Continue working with the local JET Centre to identify opportunities to provide beneficial volunteering roles for local people
Running a volunteering programme in conjunction with the local Jobs, Education and Training Centre and Rathbones to provide meaningful volunteering opportunities.
To break down barriers between the youth and the elderly.
Activities» Work with the school and local youth group to develop the intergenerational work that has taken place, such as pamper sessions.
Running a monthly activity involving the youth and the elderly in conjunction with the local secondary school, the centre's youth group and the other local youth group.
To support families, including young mums who feel isolated in the evening & families who are apart
Activities» Increase the number of mums staying for a coffee and a chat during the children's club, through providing a comfortable environment to meet.
» Provide a quality children's area, where supervised contact can take place.
» We have been approached by an individual who would like to start a Parents Hub in Speke. They are keen to look at how they could use the Noah's Ark.
Increasing the number of mums who currently stay for coffee during the children's work (currently 10+), having the children's area used on a regular basis for supervised contact.
To provide practical help for families, reducing levels of debts
Activities» Provide a laundrette, which will offer an alternative to people getting in debt if their washing machine breaks down.
» Providing a furniture exchange, particularly to support people who are moving into an unfurnished property for the first time.
Providing a laundrette facility that is priced at a level that allows families to use it for periods when they are without a washing machine and providing a furniture exchange.
The a key aim of the project long term is to develop a sense of community across the generations. This will be monitored through the use of the centre, looking at both overall number, the spread of ages and opportunities for positive intergenerational interaction. It may also be beneficial to rerun the questionnaire annually to monitor the change in views.
Risk 1 - We do not have sufficient funding to finish the project. Solution - we have phased the development to allow the building to open in stages.
Risk 2 - We do not have sufficient staff to run the services. Solution - we have a well established group of volunteers and are developing our relationships with JET, Rathbones and Careforce.
Risk 3 - We provide duplicate services and make others redundant. Solution - we are in close communication with the other service providers in the area.
We understand that different donors have different requirements and are happy to meet these needs. Currently we produce a newsletter, which we send out two-monthly, letting supporters know the progress. This can be increased in frequency or the format adjusted, as required.
Budget - Project Cost: £501,157Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £121,136 Function Room Large function room, available for conference hire, use for parties and church services £56,473 Kitchen Large industrial kitchen serving both the cafe and the function room. £88,651 Cafe/Rooms Low cost community cafe with ancillary rooms for various uses. £54,259 Children's Room Dedicated children's room, for supervised contact, mums and tots and kids club. £51,950 Laundrette/Offices Office space for furniture exchange & staff and laundrette providing affordable service & employment £38,950 Teen's Area Dedicated teen area, currently being designed by local Year 6 pupils £89,738 External Works External repairs and large playground, installed by qualified volunteers
Current Funding / Pledges
Source Amount Morgan Foundation £30,000 Guaranteed Biffa £49,000 Conditional Veolia £39,000 Conditional Trusthouse £25,000 Conditional Henry Smith £40,000 Conditional Garfield Weston £10,000 Guaranteed PH Holt Foundation £10,000 Guaranteed Gospel Partners £10,000 Guaranteed Beatrice Laign £3,500 Guaranteed Various Others £157,730 Guaranteed
Speke ranks in the 1% most deprived areas in England based on the combined deprivation index. Within the individual categories Speke ranks within the 1% most deprived or 2%-5% most deprived in all categories. The Noah's Ark is located in the heart of Speke, known locally as 'The Parade'. This has the Children and Families Centre at one end, the Health Centre in the middle and the Noah's Ark at the other end. The location makes it ideal for a centre serving the entire community.
The community questionnaire results: 50% said yes to Debt Counselling and the Laundrette, 60% said yes to Baby Goods Exchange, 65% saying they would use the Homework Club for their kids, 70% saying they would use the cafe and over 80% saying they would use a Furniture Exchange. From this data we estimated 750 to 1380 visits per week (assumptions available).
We have been serving in Speke since 1947. Over the last 10 years we have demonstrated an ability to grow success services for the community, such as the elderly lunch, the kids club & teenage club. We have also demonstrated our ability to work closely with other local organisations, for example the Children and Families Centre use our building for Mums &Tots and the local secondary school and youth training centre have helped with the playground. We are self-funding and use many volunteers.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Steve is a full time employee of the church. He is a governor in the local Secondary School and has built excellent relationships in the community.
Colin is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has been instrumental in developing the schedule of works/tendering the project. He will oversee the build.
Alan is a qualified joiner and runs his own company. He is responsible for organising the volunteer clear-out days, including scope and safety.
Jane is a Chartered Civil Engineer and has been tasked with raising the funds for the project and sorting legal issues, such as purchase of freehold.
Brings us one step closer to finishing
The Noah's Ark Centre ...is without a doubt an essential element of the wider regeneration work desperately needed within central Speke.