By Kierra Box
You might have walked past Fitzrovia Community Centre (FCC) this week – but how many of you have gone inside or got involved?
Staff and volunteers at Fitzrovia Community Centre in Foley Street have spent the past year getting the centre up and running, so it’s now time to get more Fitzrovia residents and workers using and benefiting from the space.
As part of the “needs analysis” promised at the February “What’s on in Fitzrovia” meeting, we are consulting with local people to find out what the neighbourhood is missing, and how FCC can help to fill those gaps. We want to ensure that the Centre offers social, cultural and learning opportunities at the right time of day, and at the right price – and that it is a welcoming space, not only for those who live in the area, but also those of you who work or study in Fitzrovia.
A community conversation page is now live on the FCC website outlining the different ways you can share your views, needs and suggestions and providing further information about how you can get involved.
To ensure that the Centre and the services that operate from it are sustainable in the future, neither room rental nor activities will be free to everyone.
However, we are looking to encourage sponsorship and donations from local business and to develop a membership scheme to ensure that local residents and workers are able to rent space or take part in social activities cheaply and easily. We need your suggestions to make this work. Whether you would like to start up a service, have a request for a new activity or want to give feedback on current opportunities, you are welcome to contribute via the website or in person between 9.30am and 5.30 pm Monday to Friday. If you are interested in getting involved further, you can also find out about opportunities to volunteer at the centre.
A series of “Conversation, Coffee and Croissant” sessions are also planned throughout June and offer you a chance to view the space, chat about current activities and future plans; and meet others who live and work in the neighbourhood. These will take place as follows: Saturday 22 June, 11.30 -1pm, Monday 24 June, 5.30 – 7pm, Tuesday 25 June, 3 – 4.30pm, Wednesday 26 June 10 – 11.30am. You are welcome to drop in for all or part of a session for some free refreshments and a chat — no booking is required.
As part of the conversation, it’s time to decide if the building should remain known as the Fitzrovia Community Centre or if it should adopt a new name to give it a more unique identity. We are running a competition open to all local residents, workers and readers of Fitzrovia News, asking you to nominate a new name or vote to retain the building as Fitzrovia Community Centre.
All shortlisted names will be voted on via the Centre website or at reception and entrants will be entered into a prize draw to win £100 worth of shopping or dining anywhere in Fitzrovia. The chosen name will be launched at an open event in late summer (date TBC). If your suggestion is chosen you will also be invited to formally announce the name change on the day and explain your suggestion in the local press. You can enter the competition by sending your nomination and 100 words explaining your choice to email@example.com, send a tweet to @Fitzroviacentre, or drop it in to us at 2 Foley Street by Friday 28 June 2013.
Kierra Box, Communications and Engagement, Fitzrovia Community Centre.