Our Charity aims
South Brent Old School Centre is a charity actively managed by local Trustees and is run for community benefit on a not for profit basis. It is also a Company Limited by Guarantee.
The charitable objective of the Charity is (as set out in the Articles of Association) :
“to undertake common effort … for the inhabitants of South Brent and neighbourhood … to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants”
The Articles of Association can be seen HERE.
Our Future Plans
Following consultation with our members, friends, volunteers and users the Trustees have adopted an Action Plan for the Charity – Reaching out to Everyone.
Commencing in 2017 the overall vision is that the Centre will provide a welcome and a facility or an activity for every member of the South Brent community. The plan establishes the following seven distinct areas of activity
♦ Grow Membership and Volunteering
♦ Work with other groups
♦ Foster new activities
♦ Invite everyone in
♦ A home & Support for Groups and Organisations
♦ Rejuvenating the Centre
♦ Marketing the Centre and Improving Communication
The full version of Reaching Out to Everyone can be seen HERE.
Our Annual Report and Account 2019-20 approved at the 2021 AGM on 31st March can be seen HERE
The Charity and Centre are the responsibility of the Trustees. These are volunteers who are chosen from the membership to guide and oversee the running of the charity.
Any Member can be considered to become a Trustee (either by a vote at the AGM or by co-option). The Trustees must work together responsibly and jointly solely for the benefit of the Charity. Trustees form a board that
♦ Cannot be less than 5 or more than 18 of which
♦ Up to 13 can be elected from the membership
♦ Up to 2 can be nominated by User Groups
♦ Up to 3 can be co-opted (asked to join without election)
New Trustees need to be registered with the Charity Commission and at Companies House.
If you are interested in becoming a Trustee please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The current Trustees are
Chairman & Company Secretary
Ross Kennerley – 01364 73665
Mike Baines – 01364 72559
Our Members and Friends
Membership is open to individuals, or other organisations, which support the aims of the charity. They need to pay a subscription that is set by the membership and the Annual General Meeting. Currently membership is set as
♦ Adult Membership £5 (£2 unwaged)
♦ Family Membership £10
♦ Life Membership (individual) £100
Members can attend, and vote at, the Annual General Meeting. Members hold a maximum liability of £1 should the charity be wound up.
Individuals who don’t wish to hold voting rights , or liability, can become “Friends” for the same subscription as Members.
Information on joining as a Member or Friend can be found HERE
The Old School Centre supports a wide range of facilities including
♦ South Brent Community Library
♦ South Brent Corridor Gallery
♦ South Brent Archive
♦ Community Resource Centre (photocopier, computers, laminator etc)
♦ Three bookable Community Rooms
♦ Six rentable start up offices
♦ Community servery
♦ Information Point
Further information and booking details can be found HERE
The Charity Hosts, and supports, the following organisations at the Centre
As a charity we receive no regular financial support from statutory bodies. The income to maintain the building and continually improve the facilities we offer comes from fundraising efforts by Trustees and others, grant funding, income from renting the six offices in the School House and room hire in the Centre itself. This income also enables the Trustees to employ a part-time manager for the Centre.
Since opening in 1997 the following organisations have provided grant funding support to the Charity for projects:
Beatrice Laing Trust
Co-op Local Community Fund
Dartmoor National Park Authority
Devon County Council
Lloyds Bank Foundation
Luscombe and Maye
National Lottery Community Fund
South Brent Community Energy Society
South Brent Feoffees
South Brent Parish Council
South Brent Traders
South Brent Traders Calendar
South Hams District Council
Viscount Amory’s Charitable Trust
And last but not least thanks go to any other local organisations and the numerous individuals that have supported the Centre with donations over the years !!
In 1996 there was a community consultation (Village Voice – Community Study) which underpinned purchase of the Centre, which identified 6 key facilities the community wanted to see implemented – Library, Fitness Centre, Adult Education facilities, Meeting Place, Computer and IT training, provision for Youth and Under 5’s.
The Old School Centre began life in 1997 when a new Primary School was built on land nearby. Through a sustained community campaign the funds were raised to purchase the building, the adjacent School House and the playground – and then to undertake a first phase of refurbishment to open it as a community centre.
The Centre has proved financially sustainable since it’s opening and has been able to repay over £140,000 borrowed from local residents towards the purchase.
The Centre has developed since 1997 responding to the needs of the South Brent Community. When the doors first opened the focus was largely on adult education and support. This is still a core part of the work but the capacity of the centre has expanded over the years to serve a broad range of ages, groups and abilities.
In April 2012 we supported a new service ‘South Brent and District Caring’ to provide trained volunteers to help elderly, isolated and vulnerable local residents by offering befriending, practical support and affordable transport.
In recent years the car park, formerly the school playground, was given a much needed resurfacing to make it safe and accessible for all. External signage was updated to improve the awareness of the Centre within the community and make it easier for first time users to find their way into the building.
In partnership with South Dartmoor Academy a fully equipped and very affordable Fitness Centre was opened in 2015 in the former craft room of the old school. The devlopment of the Fitness Centre, a key element of the Fit for the Future project, enabled a comprehensive internal refurbishment of the Centre.
The opening of the Fitness Centre marked the completion of providing the six facilities identified in the 1996 community consultation; a significant event in the Charity’s history. At this point, the Trustees decided to undertake a fundamental review of the Charity activity and use of resources, take stock and identify a positive way forward that would support and enthuse all residents of South Brent and the surrounding area. To do this we asked the community for their views in developing a Community Development Plan for at least the next 5 years – see Our Future Plans above.