Community Centre Handbook

Introduction

The Community Centre Handbook has been produced to provide advice, guidance and assistance to those involved in the operation of leased community centres across Aberdeen City.

There are currently 23 leased community centres across Aberdeen.  Although the buildings are owned by Aberdeen City Council the centres are operated by third party organisations made up of local volunteers.  These organisations are completely independent from the Council.

The Council provides these voluntary organisations will an annual development grant towards the operational costs of running the community centre.  The Council also contributes by in kind payment towards the costs of fuel bills, repairs and maintenance.

The voluntary organisations will have a Management Committee, or similar executive body, who decide upon how the community centre will run on a day to day basis and are responsible for the opening hours, activities that take place and the cost of these activities.

The arrangement between the independent organisations and the council is detailed within a lease and management agreement.  These are legal documents.

This handbook has been developed as a working reference guide to assist the independent organisations and will signpost readers to further information that will help them effectively manage their community centres. It has been designed to help management committees meet their responsibilities as simply as possible and allow them to devote their efforts to delivering quality activities and services that meet the needs of their local communities.

The handbook is advisory and will be updated as required in light of developments, both nationally and locally.  It is intended to develop this as a web based resource.

If there is anything you would like to see added to the Handbook, or if you identify any errors or omissions, please inform the Community Centre Liaison Officer.

The Community Centre Liaison Office is employed by Aberdeen City Council to monitor and support community centres groups across the City.  There are also Community Development Officers who work within local communities who can also provide support to community centres groups within the communities where they work.

While these officers can support and advise the community centre groups they are not there to advocate for these groups nor act on their behalf.  A summary of the roles of these officers is provided overleaf.

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The Role of the Community Centre Liaison Officer.

The Community Centre Liaison Officer can provide advice and support to management committees on the management of their buildings and the activities that take place within them.  They try to ensure that management committees are aware of legislative requirements, best practice, best value, relevant council policy and identified local community needs.  They have a role to ensure that management committees have good governance procedures in place in relation to running the community centre.

The Community Centre Liaison Officer can:

  • Provide building management advice and support to management committees;
  • Carry out monitoring in relation to the lease and management agreement;
  • Help management committees identify their development and training needs;
  • Support management committees develop good practice;
  • Process the develop grant and issue invoices as appropriate.

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The Role of the Community Development Officer (and associated staff)

The Community Development Officer can help those involved with community centres to make positive changes within the community centre environment to improve their local communities.  They are based within a local geographic area and can work with both individuals and groups within this area including those involved with community centres.

The Community Development Officer can:

  • Help identify the training needs of the management committee and the individuals involved in the management committee;
  • Support management committees to develop their decision-making structures and processes to assist in managing the community centres;
  • Work with management committees to develop and plan activities which address identified local community need;
  • Work with management committees to progress the community planning priorities;
  • Support community participation within community centres.

This handbook has been produced by Aberdeen City Council’s Communities Team in partnership with representative from the tenants of the City’s community centres. The handbook will be maintained by Council staff.  The information is presented in good faith, is advisory only and should not be relied on as an authoritative statement of law. It is advised that groups seek professional advice to ensure they operate within applicable legislation. No liability will be accepted for loss resulting from errors and/or omissions or from any use made of this publication. For more information, to make comment or query, please contact the Community Centre Liaison Officer.

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Community Centre Liaison Officer – Citywide based

Alan Mulvie, Community Centre Liaison Officer
Email: amulvie@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 611 158
Mobile: 07793 655 408

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Community Development Officers – Locality based

Locality 1

The community centres located within locality 1 are Airyhall, Altens, Balnagask, Ferryhill, Inchgarth, Kincorth, Loirston Annexe, Old Torry and Ruthrieston.

Claire Abbot, Community Development Officer
Email: CAbbott@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 498 166

Teresa Dufficy, Community Development Officer
Email: tedufficy@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 498 166
Mobile: 07342 063 378

Jade Hepburn, Development Worker
Email: jhepburn@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 498 166
Mobile: 07917 305 257

Anne-Marie Steehouder-Ross, Community Development Officer
Email: asteehouder@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 878 927
Mobile: 07917 305 827

Locality 2

The community centres located within locality 2 are Cairncry, Catherine Street, Hanover, Hilton, Mastrick, Northfield and Sheddocksley.

Caroline Bews, Assistant Community Development Officer
Email: CaBews@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 812 074
Mobile: 07785 524 560

Kev Donald, Community Development Officer
Email: KeDonald@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 812 074
Mobile: 07917 305 261

Fran Smith, Development Worker
Email: FraSmith@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 812 074
Mobile: 07824 105 057

Wilma Smith, Community Development Officer
Email: WilSmith@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 694 060
Mobile: 07824 105 052

Locality 3

The community centres located within locality 3 are Balgownie, Carnegie Hall, Danestone, Kingswells, Powis, Seaton and Tillydrone.

Hamish Cattanach, Community Development Officer
Email: hcattanach@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 701 162
Mobile: 07801 792 570

Averil Ferries, Community Development Officer
Email: aferries@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 522 296
Mobile: 07776 490 267

Zuzana Jatelova, Development Worker
Email: ZJatelova@aberdeencity.gov.uk

Emma McPherson, Community Development Officer
Email: emcpherson@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 346 372
Mobile: 07917 305 803

Marion Watson, Development Worker
Email: mariowatson@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Direct dial: 01224 523 638

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How to use this handbook effectively

While readers may choose to read the handbook from start to finish the handbook is intended to be used as tool to help management committees.

If management committees have a particular issue or concern then hopefully there will be an entry already in the handbook regarding that particular issue.  It may be that the handbook does not have an actual solution, but instead signposts the reader to an up to date source of accurate assistance.

If you are accessing the handbook via a web browser this information should be accessible by clicking on the highlighted hyperlink.  If you are accessing the handbook via a paper copy you should enter the web address given into your devices web browser.

If you find your particular issue or concern is not in handbook it would be helpful if you could contact the Community Centre Liaison Officer so that it can be included in future updates of the handbook.

If you are using the paper version of the handbook then each page should have a date.  The most recent date for any particular page, will be the most up to date version of that page.

If you require a sample policy, sample procedure or other document and are unable to download the file then please email the Community Centre Liaison Officer who will arrange for a copy of the file to be emailed to you.

While many of the sample documents can be used with virtually no amendments it is vital that you fully check the document and making appropriate changes to meet your specific needs.  Once a policy or procedure has been amended to your organisation’s needs it should be presented to your management committee at a formal meeting to be approved.  This approval should also be recorded in your minutes.

N.B: Many of the Council’s Learning Centres are referred to locally as community centres.  This handbook is not suitable for those premises or the organisations who work in partnership with the Council at those centres.  While some of the information may be of interest, and use, to these organisations much of the information will not be relevant, and may cause confusion.

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