Community centre finds pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
Published by Hazel Rycroft for Keepmoat in Communities and also in Housing, Local Government
(Left to right) Susan Hill, Manager of the Rainbow Community Centre, volunteers Curtis and Sarah Bailey, and Sarah Booth, Assistant Partnerships Manager at Keepmoat, toast to a warmer future in front of the new boiler.
A Thurnscoe community centre found a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when house builder Keepmoat donated and installed a new boiler free of charge.
The Rainbow Community Centre has seen its bills almost halved since the boiler was installed and is currently £200 in the black with its energy provider thanks to the kind-hearted gesture.
The centre was struggling to heat the building off Houghton Road and approached Keepmoat, which is building 875 homes in the village as part of the Thurnscoe Alliance, for help.
Susan Hill, who has managed the centre since 1998, said: “The old boiler was really temperamental and we were worried it wouldn’t make it through the winter.”
The group, which provides a vital service to more than 100 people in the community, was previously paying £130 a month to heat the building.
Now, thanks to the new energy-efficient boiler, the centre is paying just £85 a month and is £200 in the black with its energy provider.
“We offer everything from Tai Chi classes to coffee mornings and lunches, so need to make sure the building is warm and cosy,” says Susan.
The centre is used nearly every day of the week by local groups and lays on events for everyone from new-born babies to people in their 90s.
“The new boiler is such a blessing, we would have been left high and dry if the old boiler had packed in – we just wouldn’t have been able to function as we couldn’t have afforded to replace it.
“We named the centre Rainbow after the age old adage that you’ll find a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow and now we have!
“We’ll be able to offer lots more services thanks to the savings we are making,” says Susan.
Sarah Booth, Assistant Partnerships Manager at Keepmoat, said: “The Rainbow Centre really is at the heart of community in Thurnscoe - it caters to such a diverse range of ages, needs and interests and through our work in the area we know what a difference it makes to the lives of the people living nearby.
“We were only too pleased to be able to use our experience and expertise to replace the old boiler with a brand new one and to hear how much money it is now saving the community centre is the icing on the cake.”
The Thurnscoe Alliance is currently building 875 homes in the village as part of the Seasons Development.
The alliance between Keepmoat, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Chevin Housing Association and Berneslai Homes, will see land off School Street transformed over the next 15 to 18 years.
As well as providing affordable new homes, the alliance has set up the £100,000 Keepmoat Community Fund to benefit local groups and community initiatives.
In addition to building affordable new homes in Thurnscoe, Keepmoat previously carried out energy improvements to hundreds of private homes and social housing properties as part of the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) on behalf of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council.