The Umbrella Centre is a co-operative made up of over 500 members who ensure that its work reflects the needs of the local community by being drawn exclusively from our local area. he membership annually elect a group of volunteer trustees who regularly meet to ensure that the charity is fufilling its charitable aims and financially secure.
The Umbrella has two paid members of staff who help administer our bookings, Lorraine Simpson who works Tuesday - Thursday and Sally Newell, who works Monday & Friday.
We rely on a small but dedicated group of volunteers who collectively contribute over 100 hours of time a week and without whom we would not be able to run.
The Whitstable Umbrella Centre is a vibrant community resource at the heart of our town.
We are a vibrant community hub where friendship, support and opportunities are available to all, come rain or shine.
Our work is driven by a desire to be:
expansive: over forty groups regularly use our high quality spaces provding opportunities for people and their families to keep fit, learn new skills, access support and build firm friendships
supportive: profits from the hire of the building allow us, and our volunteers, to provide a minimum of 15 hours of activities a week which are free of charge to those who think themselves isolated in the community each week
accessible: we are more than venue but a community of people who support one another's interests. We offer reductions to charities working in the local area and support people looking to launch something for the benefit of the local neighbourhood
For well over thirty years it has been our aim to preserve the physical, mental and emotional health and stability of the local community without prejudice. We achieve this by working to ensure an expansive and holistic range of activities are available from the centre. In partnership with commercial hirers who run activities on our premises, our staff and volunteers who run activities and community ventures we provide space to free of charge; we aim to help people:
Keep fit by providing yoga, keep fit classes, walking groups and martial arts
Learn new skills by running IT training, genealogy classes and arts/craft sessions
Support their family by providing music, sport and arts activities for all ages
Get help by providing a home a weekly soup kitchen and housing, benefit and legal advice surgeries
Make friends by providing a safe and inclusive space where people can share their passion for books, film, crafts, politics or sport
Grow their business by providing local markets, workspace and a community cafe
Find focus by providing volunteering opportunities and training. We also organise trips to encourage people to engage with their local area
Access services by proving free and impartial signposting to local services