We are proud of the work we do and the service and opportunities we provide the local community. We have gained credibility and respect locally and borough wide.
Here’s what people think about us:-
Les Harrison (Founding Volunteer)
The Community Centre was originally Wargrave Infant school. I attended as a schoolboy in 1927 and stayed fourteen years before I left to move to the big school. The Centre goes back a long way, it opened in 1987. I started volunteering in 1984 – the place was a right mess. Only half a roof, no windows and all of the wooden floors were ruined. I started helping out at the Centre with lots of other local people when it was derelict to make it into the Centre it is today. It took us two and a half years, seven days a week of sheer hard graft but the end result was worth it. It has become the heart of the community and we are all really proud of what we do. It is obviously a very big part of my life, it gives me a sense of purpose and belonging
In 2014 Les sadly passed away, he was one of Newton Community Centres founding members and its strongest supporters Les Harrison, Les was the driving force behind the original renovation of the old Wargrave school into the present Community Centre building, giving up all his free time and co-ordinating the building work and efforts of many other volunteers, including personally undertaking plastering and roof repairs, Les went on to continue to support the center becoming a longstanding volunteer which included weekend office cover and day to day repairs at the centre, without this great man giving so much we may never have had the community centre that we have today.
Anne Keen (Former Centre Co-Ordinator)
When I first entered the Newton Community Centre 23 years ago to attend an interview, I immediately felt that there was something special about the place, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I soon found out what it was. The pride and passion they felt for the Centre was evident. It has remained ever since – I honestly believe that, along with their values and principles, it’s in the fabric of the building!I walked away with a smile on my face as I had never really encountered such deep feelings about a place before. I also walked away thinking “I want to be part of this”
The Centre has gone from strength to strength as time has evolved and has gained a reputation throughout the borough for being the epitome of good practice and community engagement. Over the past 23 years the dedication and commitment of volunteers has never ceased to amaze me. They play so many roles within the Centre, which could not open of an evening or weekends if it were not for their involvement. The small team of paid staff are incredible – they excel in what they do and are a joy to work with. Everyone, who enters the building comment on how warm and friendly the Centre is and say that it really does have that “something special”. This may sound cheesey, but it’s true, every single person involved with the Centre – including centre users and tutors, are like one big family. A real community spirit pervades.
Dorthy Hughes (Long Standing Volunteer)
I have been volunteering at the Centre for since 1997 years and was a Treasurer for 3 years. I can honestly say that since I retired the Centre has kept me active.
I enjoy being a part of something which is providing for the local community. I have met lots of interesting people of all ages who come to the Centre to attend the courses and services on offer..
Dianne Lee (Management Committee Member)
I have been coming to the Centre for 22 years, since 1990, and have attended several courses including Complementary Therapies and Spanish.
I have also been volunteering during my time here – in the Coffee Bar and also as a member of the Management Committee. I was Treasurer for 5 years and Chairperson for 3 years. I find volunteering very rewarding and have learnt many new skills. I’ve also made many friends with other volunteers.
Paul Thompson (Course Tutor)
I first started teaching Italian here at the Centre several years ago for the Workers Educational Association. I now deliver 3 more for St. Helens Adult & Community Learning and 2 French courses.
These courses provide a progression route for learners.
From the outset I found the Centre to be a very welcoming environment and thanks to the brilliant organisation, co-operation and enthusiasm of Anne, Cheryl, Tony and volunteers teaching here continues to be a great pleasure for me.
The rooms and facilities make for a pleasant teaching and learning environment and my learners bring a lot of their own experiences to the classroom which is nice for me.
On two occasions we’ve put on dances with the help of my musician friends to help raise funds for the Centre and it was really rewarding to see the support we received from the Centre staff and its users.
Kathryn Barr (Course Tutor)
Without the support of the staff and tutors at Newton Community Centre I would not be the person who I am today. Many years ago I separated from my long term partner and was left with a baby under the age of one. My self-esteem was low and I was a lonely single mum. I decided to enrol for the Assertiveness and Confidence Course running at the Community Centre, while my daughter was cared for by the fantastic staff in the Crèche. It has been one of my wisest decisions. Since that first course I have qualified in Health and Safety, Leadership and I have gained a Diploma in Counselling.
I would not have had the confidence to do this without my start at the Centre and therefore I now offer a weekly Counselling Service at a subsidised rate. It is my way of saying thanks and giving something back.
I also run a Personal Power course on a Monday night. Check out the What’s On page for further information.
Jade Curran (Long Standing Volunteer)
I have been going to Newton Community Centre since I was 6 years old as a member of the After School Club. I became a trainee volunteer at age 11 and was the youngest person to earn the 100 hours volunteers certificate. 11 years on I am now involved in the planning and running of the 4-2-6 Club/Playscheme and have gained a 1000+ hours certificate.
Growing up within this environment, the Centre has become a second home. I have a great relationship with other volunteers and staff. I also know every child’s name who attends Club 4-2-6 each week!
In my personal life, the Centre has helped me to build confidence and become a more independent person. I have had the chance to experience all different challenges and types of work within my role as a volunteer, experiences that most 17yr olds haven’t yet had chance to.
Even though I have now moved on with my education, there is always a priority in my heart for the Centre, as well as everybody who’s a part of it and friends I will always treasure.
I became a volunteer at Newton Community Centre in October 2011 after looking for a volunteer opportunity, to work with children. Not being able to have children of our own was a big disappointment but volunteer work has really helped to fill the gap and have fun whilst doing it.
It’s great to be part of a team of volunteers who are passionate about what they do and want to make sure the children and young people have a great time. Club 4-2-6 is well organised and I was madewelcome as a new volunteer. I recently help organise an African cultural theme based around life in Africa which incorporated music and dance. So if you would like work with children why not join us? You could become a valued member of the “team”.
I first started attending the Community Centre in 2011, whilst in a women’s refuge. When I left the refuge I moved just around the corner from the Centre and decided to become a volunteer. I volunteer within the coffee bar and help set up the rooms for groups. I also distribute the Centre’s What’s On leaflets on the local housing estates.
When I started volunteering (and since then) I became aware of, and was encouraged to attend, several courses in Computers & I.T. As a result I now have gained new qualifications & skills. I also attended Self-Defence course and a Positively Thinking course – which have worked wonders for my confidence and self-esteem. All of these course were funded by the Big Lottery. I also made new friends from the courses.
I actually gave a “presentation” at the Centre’s AGM in 2012 in front of loads of people. I would never have believed I could do that a couple of years ago. I’ve so much to thank the Centre for.
My involvement with the Centre and the staff and volunteers helped me get back to being myself. The Centre has certainly made a difference to my life.
I’ve been coming to the Centre since 2006, when I first attended a dressmaking course. I’d just moved back to the northwest and I found it was a great way to improve dressmaking skills and get to know people in the area. I’ve really got to know people on the course –we enjoy the friendship, having a laugh and a tea and toast break as much as making progress with our sewing projects.
Since then, that particular course finished so all of us who attended it started our own “Sewcial Group”. I’ve had a baby daughter since I started coming to the Centre and so now I really appreciate the crèche that gives me 2 hours of hands free time every Thursday morning. The crèche staff are great and are interested in her, commenting on progress and development and doing some great paint and craft work with her.I’d recommend the Centre to everyone for learning, for support, for friendship and also for the toast!
The Centre has been part of my life since I was four years old in 1986. When I reached 13 I began volunteering for the After School Club and Playscheme. At first I came to the Centre simply looking to give a helping hand, but as time passed I questioned why I continuously attended.The answer is simple, it is the small connections that are made and new friendships gained that make the Centre incredible. Not only do I have fun, but because of the interactions and people, the experience is just that little bit more meaningful. It’s because of the Centre I am who I am today, and the reason that if you’re not already here, you should be. There is something for everyone and that why the centre is best at what it does.
I have been attending the Centre for number of years learning Italian. There has always been a nice friendly atmosphere within the class and the Centre as a whole.
There are many recreational and educational opportunities on offer here and it’s a great place to meet people. I also volunteer and am glad to help keep the Centre going in any way I can.
The Centre has given me new interests. In 1995 I started attending the Indoor Bowling group. I really enjoy it and have made lots of new friends – we have a laugh and a chat.
I have done quite a few things at the Centre- crafts, a computer course, line dancing and have been attending a weekly keep fit class for years.
Rita keeps us on ours toes and in good shape! It’s more than just keep fit class. There are many more things to get involved in and the volunteers and staff are so friendly.Life would be dull without the Centre.
I have attended Newton Community Centre since 2003 and completed courses in Holistic Therapies, Reiki, Colour Therapy, Yoga, Pilates, Digital Photography, Dancing and Jewellery Making.
There are courses to suit every taste, including languages.
The atmosphere at the Centre is friendly and relaxed. Why don’t you come and join us?
I started coming to the Centre over 16 years ago to the Indoor Bowling. I really enjoy my weekly visit as although it can be a bit competitive we really have a laugh. It’s more than a game of bowls – there’s a great social aspect to it as well.
The Centre itself is very welcoming and you are always greeted with a smile and cheerful hello. I enjoy a bit of banter with the staff who seem to enjoy my jokes!
If you fancy a bit of company and a game of bowls then why not join us or have a look at one of the many other activities and courses available. There really is something to suit everyone..