Warmer welcome at Throckley Community Hall thanks to Banks Group grant funding

March 16, 2017 | Brenkley News

(from left) Hall committee member Maureen Fitzgerald, Jeannie Kielty of the Banks Group, Hall committee chair Ann Robinson and committee member Nicola Pendleton

Visitors to a popular Tyneside community venue are enjoying a warmer, more comfortable welcome thanks to a four-figure donation from a regional employer.

After stripping and revarnishing the floor at Throckley Community Hall, the committee responsible for running the 120 year-old building had been looking for a way to obtain some new lighter tables and chairs that would be easier for its members to move without risking damaging the newly-repaired surface on which they stood.

The committee applied to the Banks Group for support for the project from its Banks Community Fund – and after securing a £7,000 donation from the Fund, the committee has not only been able to buy the new furniture it wanted, but it has also purchased new thermostatically-controlled radiators to heat the building more efficiently and new blinds for its windows.

And the improvements that have been made have already resulted in an increase in the number of people visiting the Hall to see what’s on offer there.

Throckley Community Hall is the only venue of its type in the area and hosts a wide range of well-attended groups and activities on every day of the week, from toddler, craft and mindfulness groups through to a slimming club, coffee mornings and exercise classes.

The building is entirely run by a team of volunteers, who also carry out regular fundraising activities to help meet its running costs.

Ann Robinson, chair of the Throckley Community Hall committee, says: “The floor hadn’t had any attention for a very long time, and having it sanded and varnished has made a huge difference to the building as a whole, but it also left us with the problem of how to keep it in the best possible condition.

“The furniture we had was second hand when we first got it, and with many of our volunteers and members starting to get that bit older, it was hard for them to move these heavy items around without scraping them along the floor, which risked damage being caused that we didn’t want.

“We carry out a lot of fundraising activities ourselves, but would have had to spend a lot more time and energy bringing in the money we needed if the Banks Group hadn’t stepped in to help.

“The new tables and chairs are much easier to move around for different events, while having controllable radiators in what was previously a difficult and expensive building to heat is making a terrific difference to everyone who spends time here.

“We’ve had lots of visits from local people who are curious about the work that’s been done, and they’re translating into more participants in the different events and activities that we host, which is good for both the people that put them on and the future of the Hall in general.”

Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The hard work of the volunteers that makes Throckley Community Hall a thriving venue that is more than worthy of support from the Banks Community Fund, and we hope everything they’ve bought helps to ensure more and more people make use of it.”

The Banks Community Fund provides grants for community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks Group projects.

Anyone interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.

We would have had to spend a lot more time and energy bringing in the money we needed if the Banks Group hadn’t stepped in.

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