community building project came forward under the SRB
programme when it was
realised that the Youth Club building originally provided by
the Welfare was coming to the end of its life and the existing
voluntary child care provision was struggling to find suitable
long-term accommodation. It was against this backdrop that the idea
arose for a project headed by Cotgrave
Town Council. The Council had a significant reserve acquired from a
land sale, which was intended for a community project, and this
emerged as the potential match funding for an ambitious plan involving
the replacement of the youth club and the creation of accommodation
for a range of basic services for families and children.
board approved the scheme and a funding bid was put together for The
New Opportunities Fund and the Coalfield Regeneration trust. This
progressed well until its final stages when the New Opportunities
Fund, against all expectation at this point, withdrew its support.
This caused great consternation and we threw all our efforts into a
rescue operation. We managed to scale down the project, secured the
continuing support of Coalfield Regeneration Trust and with help from
the County over the shortfall, we were eventually able to go ahead.
event clearly made the building less versatile than we had wished,
deprived us of potential sources of income and undermined our business
plan. Our conviction that such a venture was needed has sustained our
determination to carry on and while we have had to endure some
criticism, we think the outcome has justified our efforts. We have a
legacy of problems but with good will from other partners these should
be capable of satisfactory solution.
Futures Building currently hosts the Serendipity child care
facility, a café used by Serendility for
its meals provision but potentially availabe
at weekends for functions, and a general
meeting room and offices. In conjunction with Serendipity the Futures
Board aspires to increase its provision for the elderly. The café area
is in frequent use in the evenings for a various activities. We have
an office in the lobby, which serves as a reception point.
opening we have remained sanguine about the underlying practicability
of the business plan though we were badly hit by an arson attack at
one stage, which took the kitchen out of operation for six months. We
now look forward to finding a place in the developments associated
with the Cotgrave Master Plan.
membership of the Board of Trustees consists of three council
representatives, a County Councillor
and people nominated as residents. The Town Council is the ‘guardian’
trustee, responsible to the Charity Commission in a monitoring role to
ensure the charity’s ongoing operations. We residents seeking
nomination are assured of n interesting involvement in the trust’s
governance and have an inspection role. There are no formal
qualifications required other than residence of
Cotgrave though the board requires members to undertake a CRB
check since we come in contact with children and on occasion
vulnerable adults. We now have to undergo a further check under new
Inland Revenue rules since we are all involved in the Board’s
financial decision making and we benefit from certain VAT
reliefs as a charity. All charities
receiving taxation advantages have now to establish that their members
are ‘fit and proper persons’ and a check is undertaken on all nominees
to ascertain that there is no history which puts question marks over
their financial trustworthiness.
sound heavy but is a one-off and confidential process which most
people will have no problem with and which provides the general public
with an assurance of the probity of the Board. Once past these very
straightforward tests, our trustees are able to engage with a
rewarding involvement in a community project.
Woolsey, chair of Board of Trustees