The trustees of Pan Together who run Downside Community Centre in Newport, Isle of Wight, are pleased to announce that they have been successful in obtaining significant grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.
The grant will help ensure that the centre can become sustainable and continue to provide its services to the people of Pan into the future.
Pan Together was established in 2007, became a registered charity in 2018 and will now be looking to employ a community centre manager whose remit will be to develop the already vibrant centre’s role in the community to new levels. We are delighted that the financial future of the centre is secure and that we can now focus 100% on its development as a community hub.
In autumn 2016 the community centre moved from two portakabins behind the former Downside Middle School into specially designed rooms in the Pan Community Hub building, along with Barton Primary School and the East Newport Family Centre. The Isobel Community Café housed within the centre has been an ongoing success and it will continue in this role alongside what we hope will be a raft of new community services and activities to supplement the already considerable list.
The Community Centre already provides numerous services including adult learning, an information and guidance session where people with any issue can come along and get assistance, the ‘In Stitches’ craft session, children’s yoga, a youth club, the Older Voices forum, Cooking on a Budget courses, and a quiz and curry night, amongst a host of others.
Lead trustee Dave Logan said, ‘I am absolutely delighted, and my thanks go to Debbie Yates and all those who worked so hard on this to ensure the future of the centre. It’s now down to us all to make the most of this opportunity.’
Debbie Yates, who is responsible for applying for grants for Pan Together said, ‘Having been involved with Pan for a number of years now, I am thrilled that the application has been successful. The valuable work that Pan Together carries out in the community and the services which we offer have helped to change people’s lives and are needed now more than ever. The volunteers and committee members all work so hard to make a difference and should be proud of their efforts. I must also thank Helen Miller from the National Lottery Community Fund, who supported me all the way in helping me through the application process, and who will continue to support us in managing the grant, as we move forward to an exciting future.’
Kate Concannon who was the IW Council’s Local Area Co-ordinator for the Area until recently, as well as being a trustee of Pan Together, said ‘I am really pleased that all the hard work of the volunteers will be supported for the next 3 years and that Pan can continue to enjoy the Community Centre. It’s exciting times ahead.’
Gayna Ryan who manages the Isobel Café said, ‘It is great news that Pan Together have been given this grant to ensure a secure future for the Community Centre and the Community Café, we are excited for our bright future as the community hub of Pan’.
Laura Byrne, the Chair of Pan Together, said ‘I am absolutely over the moon! We have worked so hard as a team through the hard times. It will now be brilliant to be able to secure a better future for the whole community of Pan. Thank you National Lottery Community Funding, thank you to all those who play the National Lottery, thank you Debbie Yates and for all involved with Pan Together, I appreciate you all’.
Cara Woodford who volunteers at the centre said, ‘Amazing news and it is great to now have security for the next three years. This will mean a lot to theus.’