Our achievements 2015-16

Accessible, reliable and friendly

The Resource Centre is open to the public Tuesday to Friday, 9am to 4pm. During this time we are an open door for groups which means that for 28 hours a week local groups have drop in access to equipment hire, the community print room and high quality information and advice.

The fact that we are consistently and reliably open for so many hours each week, and offer such a range of support, gives groups the flexibility to ask for the help they need when they need it.

In 2015-16, 934 different groups used Resource Centre services, making a total of 3,048 visits and phone calls to the Centre. 786 of these groups were based in Brighton & Hove.

For many groups we are the obvious first port of call when looking for support. Indeed, for two thirds of our user groups we are the only support agency they use. On average, we deal with 15 groups each day.

A full breakdown of the use of Resource Centre services is available if you want more detail.

Equipment hire

Groups can hire equipment for use at their own events. Access to a central pool of equipment enables groups to hold successful and engaging community events, raise funds and bring people together.

feedback card from Florence Avenue Street Party: "This was an amazing reasonable place with lovely staff!"In 2015-16, a total of 517 different groups used the equipment hire service as part of the organisation of over 800 diverse events – school fairs, training courses, fun days, street parties, summer camps, public meetings, exhibitions, gigs, plays, talks, discussions, parades, and many more.

We estimate that events where our equipment was used enabled local groups to raise over £500,000 in total during the year. This is based on information gathered from users of our candy floss machines.

Community Print Room

Groups use our print room to produce their own posters, flyers, tickets, newsletters, reports, banners, badges and stickers. In 2015-16, a total of 438 different groups used the print room, making over 3,200 visits altogether.

Groups particularly appreciate the help and support they receive from our staff, as shown by our regular survey results. This is something that clearly distinguishes our print room from commercial printing establishments. Do-it-yourself printing also enables groups to have hands-on control of every aspect of the process, learning new skills in the process.

Information and advice

Our open access front desk is the first port of call for many groups with a question or problem about running their group. All our staff are experienced and knowledgeable, and we routinely provide on-the-spot advice on a wide range of issues, as well as frequent referrals to our extensive online information resource.

“Thank you very much for your information on Constitutions. It will be very useful to our organisation”

Stanford Avenue Methodist Church Lunch Club

Any group can access this walk-in advice, but we offer additional support to our priority groups – those run by local residents and based in areas of social housing, BME community groups and groups run by disabled people, their families and carers. Priority groups are eligible to become members of the Centre and to elect our management committee.

In 2015-16, our walk-in advice service was used by 71 non-priority groups on 99 occasions. These groups received help with 25 different issues, with the most common queries concerning legal structures, artwork for printing, charitable status, and starting a new group.

In addition, 50 priority groups used the drop-in advice service on 134 occasions and these conversations covered 42 different topics. The most common issues were book-keeping, understanding and responding to emails where there is a language barrier, artwork for printing, charity reporting, and computer support.

Priority groups also have access to more in-depth advice and support, provided one-to-one at pre-arranged appointments. We saw an increase in demand for this additional support in 2015-16 and continue to seek funding in order to sustain these vital services into the future.

July 2016