As the Carrick Activity Centre in Dailly approaches its fourth anniversary David Walker takes a look back on its journey as it approaches its fifth year.
At a meeting in the Dailly Community Hall in July 2009, a group of volunteers agreed to the formation of a Constituted Group, which took over the lease from South Ayrshire Council, of the former Sports Barn in Dailly.
The official opening of the Carrick Activity Centre took place in March 2011 and it is now racing into its fifth year of operation with an increasing core membership, additional activities in the games hall and an extensive gym space.
Initially supported by: Ayrshire Leader, Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund, Awards for All and South Ayrshire Council, the centre is now largely self-sustaining and going from strength to strength. The association has taken advantage of funding opportunities and through this the centre has increased its staff and renewed and expanded the gym and equipment.
Key relationships have been developed with various groups such as the Dundonald Gymnastics Group, Active Schools, Ayr United Football Academy, Dailly Amateurs and Invergarven School to promote activities in the games hall. In addition, the centre successfully markets the games hall for birthday parties and other family events.
Going from strength to strength is a bit of an understatement, the centre has come a long way, is financially sound and is looking forward to another year of successful development.
The founding group, largely unchanged, of eleven people, initially adopted a number of objectives: To promote the centre and associated activities within the local community; To continue to develop the facilities and activities of the centre to meet the changing needs of the community; To manage the “Dailly Activity Centre”; To ensure a duty of care to all members and users of the facility; To provide all our services in a way that is fair to everyone.
The group became a social enterprise in 2010 with the aim to create a community managed facility to provide a range of associated services and projects, which would improve the health, fitness and well-being of both Carrick residents and visitors.
This aim would be realised through a series of objectives: To offer accessible and affordable fitness and activity facilities; To provide a venue and focus for a range of community and tourist activities promoting health and well-being for all age groups and interests; To create management structures to encourage the maximum involvement and empowerment of local people and centre users; To make particular effort to engage disadvantaged young people and promote and support healthier lifestyles for them.
The staff of four and the committee of eleven local people believe strongly that they are evolving these core objectives in a very positive way. The objectives provide the focus for what they do on an ongoing basis, and that, together with the dedication of the staff and committee, has contributed immensely to the success of the centre.
The centre is in a strong financial position and with the dedicated committee and staff providing a stable platform for its operation it can continue to update and renew equipment in the gym and to further develop.
The centre is very active Monday through Saturday with a buzzing gym, exercise classes, gymnastic classes, indoor soccer and badminton. There is a lot to look forward to with a busy Easter programme for children and young people, followed by an open day on April 12 to celebrate the fourth anniversary.