It is six months since The Furniture Scheme took over the management of Craven Arms Community Centre and it now has a new name to reflect its use – Community Arts Sports Craven Arms, shortened to CASCA. Opening hours have been increased and it is now open from 9am to 10pm on week days, weekend opening reflects bookings, but it is hoped that the centre will regularly open at weekends too. CASCA hosts a variety of events – those that you would expect such as badminton, slimming classes, and a range of sport and leisure activities for all ages. The centre’s conference facilities have seen increased usage and a recent Wrestling event was a sell out – expect to see similar events like this in the near future.
Maria Darcy, CASCA’s Coordinator says “We are becoming more popular as a venue and used by local people; we have hosted parties, funerals and have our first wedding reception booked for November. We really want local people to think of us as a friendly and reasonably priced venue for their family events and would love to hear from anyone looking for a venue, we can cater for around 300 people, providing food – we also have a licence and can run a bar if required”.
Jean Jarvis MBE, CEO at The Furniture Scheme says “taking on the management of CASCA has been a huge challenge. We have experience of running a community centre – we manage Rockspring on the Sandpits Estate in Ludlow. But CASCA is much bigger and has a sports hall and playing field to look after. We’ve taken on new staff to cope with demand and are building up a multi skilled team of volunteers to support them. The Furniture Scheme has a reputation of providing good quality volunteering, training and work experience opportunities, assisting people to gain the skills and qualifications necessary to move into paid employment and CASCA offers excellent possibilities for people to undergo personal development, whilst helping us to run the centre. We’re also working with a range of service providers so that local people can access different services under one roof. We can also provide an excellent cup of coffee”.