Call for volunteers

A call for volunteers to help run Northallerton’s Hambleton Forum as a community led facility, has gone out.

Plans by Hambleton District Council to turn the community centre over to local people are moving forward – a business plan is currently being finalised and a series of consultation events have taken place.

The Forum User Group (FUG) was formed by a group of local people last summer - some associated with organisations that currently use the Forum – to work with the District Council to safeguard the future of the centre.

And while a bank of volunteers has already begun forming, more are needed. They – as well as any new volunteers - are being called to a public meeting next month to get an update on progress so far.

“We are very close to completing our business plan and now have a firm understanding of how the Forum works, the costs involved and how local people want to see the Forum developed in the future,” said FUG chairman David Allan.

“But one thing is abundantly clear - we cannot run the Forum, even at break-even level, without substantial support from the community.”

He said the need for public support was promoted at the Variety Club’s annual pantomime in the Forum, with members of FUG on hand to pass on information about the plans.

“In the summer we were fortunate enough to see a good pool of people pledge their support and time to help us run the Forum when it transfers to the new group. A few more volunteers have come forward from the panto consultation but our research with other similar venues suggests we need more.

“Next month’s meeting is not just for people that have already volunteered. We welcome any new people that are interested even if they only want to come and find out more. There are so many aspects to running a facility such as this and we need them all – from accountants, cleaners and administrators to lawyers and technicians.”

The FUG meeting takes place on Wednesday, February 15 at the Civic Centre in Northallerton from 7pm.

For more information or to volunteer services contact Mark Haynes at Hambleton District Council on 01609 767056 or mark.haynes@hambleton.gov.uk