Find out about the centre and our work
Open Access Drop-ins
We run an open access drop-in session 48 weeks of the year, daily between 10am and 3pm. Anyone is welcome and can drop in for support with the following:
• Drug and alcohol misuse
• Food bank referrals
• Clothing and appliances
• Laundry facilities
• Job applications
• Shower facilities
• Support with mental health
• Debt advice
Support is provided by the centre manager and assistant manager and, in cases where they are unable to help, they will signpost to someone who can. Over a year, the centre will provide around 1000 appointments.
Dependent on the complexity of the needs, we can help people with just one session, or sometimes it can take over a year.
We run 4 sessions every week for 80 young people aged 4-18. Sessions include cooking, arts and crafts, games, sport and issue-based discussions (e.g. drugs and alcohol, body image) as well as a cooked meal. In the Summer we will also run trips out. Our programme gives local young people a chance to chat to our staff and youth workers about things they might be struggling with at home or at school.
A volunteer-led group for children aged 0-4 and their carers. The sessions run every week and include toys, activities and stories and a chance for parents and carers to meet others and get the support they need from our volunteers and staff.
Weekly affordable food shop here at the centre. Participants pay £5. For this, they get 2 bags of shopping, including bread, eggs, and milk. Local supermarkets provide food that would otherwise have been thrown away. Everyone welcome.
Coffee and Cake
Weekly get together every Friday at 13.30. Coffee and cake is a group for all to attend, play games such as bingo and have a chat. This group prevents loneliness and gives people a purpose.
This is a volunteer-led weekly group for local people which helps bring people together to have fun, make friends and grow in confidence. The choir has been running since 2017. It is open to all local people – men and women, old and young, and of all abilities.
Dance classes cool and hip hop at the Marsh are run by Miss Rosie every Monday ages 1-6. Keep your kids healthy and active whilst kicking it to the freshest beatz! £5 a session.
Everyone welcome to come along, relax and unwind. Good for the mind and soul.
The Marsh Community Centre first surfaced as an idea around 1997. A local man on the marsh estate (Wayne Brennand) spoke to the free Citizen newspaper about the desperate need for the Centre in the area. The Citizen ran a front page article on the issue.
Councillor Jon Barry contacted Wayne and a rather chaotic meeting was held in the Victoria pub on the corner of West Road and Willow Lane! This culminated in a public meeting in the St George’s Church building (now the housing development next to the Centre). Publicity for the meeting took the form of a double-decker bus driven around the Marsh estate!
The most important thing to come out of the meeting was a promise of financial support from the Council.
Planning towards the Centre took place over the next five years until work eventually started on construction in 2002. In that time, we had a failed lottery bid and plans were scaled down from a million pound building to a £200,000 one. Eventually we decided to ‘go for it’ and to build the shell of the building. Money for decorating, equipment and carpets came later. The priority was just getting the Centre built.