1. Tell us what you do.
The Dorothy Parkes Centre is a community centre based on Church Road in Smethwick. The centre is multi-purpose with a large hall which can be split into two, there are two meeting rooms, and an industrial kitchen (we’re fully accessible and is open seven days a week).
We offer a number of community activities and services benefitting the local and wider community to access which include Sew Together, Art, Yoga, Youth Club and Baby Ballet, Agewell and much much more.
You can also hire our rooms for private functions on Saturdays and Sundays from 1pm.
2. What is your proudest achievement?
It is a cliché but simply existing to serve the local community is something we are extremely proud of. We see many different people each day from all walks of life and whether they are here for an art group or for a dance class they leave the centre smiling.
3. What is your experience of support received from SCVO
In the past six months we have received great support from SCVO in regards to raising the profile of the centre. SCVO now hold their Community Surgeries at the centre and some of our staff have benefitted from attending workshops focussing on GDPR, Social Value, and Funding.
SCVO have been very supportive and have offered to assist with funding applications and consultation. They have also enabled us to network locally at breakfast meetings etc.
4. What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt about working with people in Sandwell?
We have learnt that the people in Sandwell have a lot to give. We are blessed with a great community spirit and it appears that people will do anything they can to help each other.
5. What are your plans for the future and some of the challenges you face?
We plan to continue to raise our profile via a new website and external signage around the centre. We will continue with our maintenance plan which has recently included the installation of a new hall floor and some decorating.
We would like to see more new faces within the centre and will endeavour to ensure that we are meeting the requirements of our local community. We also want to fully utilise our kitchen possibly via a community café. The challenge we face is obviously related to funding and ensuring that the centre is sustainable.
6. How can SCVO help to support your organisation in the future?
SCVO can help by continuing to offer the informative workshops, network meetings and support with funding applications and consultation. They would be more than welcome to be a part of our steering group.
For more information on what the Dorothy Parkes Community Centre does please either them on email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 558 2998