It was Open Doors Night at the Carrick Centre, Maybole as part of their “Have Your Say” community engagement.
The event took place on Friday 14th September and was completely free and open to everyone. All the Centre’s groups and users were invited to come along and exhibit their activities and services to the Community. With around 20 groups participating and 150 people coming through the door to learn about the Centre, its activities, projects and development plans it was a great night and the team loved welcoming familiar and new faces through the door.
Pete Lynn, Chairman, along with Jim Stevens and Tony Riome from the Centre’s Board welcomed all the guests at the door and each person received free entry into a prize raffle.
The Centre was also delighted to welcome Mr Brian McGinley, deputy leader of South Ayrshire Council, for his first visit to the Centre and all three local councillors: Brian Connelly, Ian Campbell and William Grant.
A popular area on the night, especially with the younger visitors was the Centre’s Youth & Project wing and Coral McMillan, one of the Centre’s Development Co-ordinators was on hand to discuss the projects hosted by the Centre, their plans for future development and how to get involved.
One of the projects on display was the Centre’s “Youth Innovation Project”, which runs regular “Youth Cafes”, activities, generated in discussion with the young people who engage with the project. Most recently: Filming, Photography and Art & Drama have been the most popular and have resulted in some great partnership working with FIB Youth Theatre, South Ayrshire Council Community Learning & Development and local schools.
The Centre’s Training Kitchen is another great project and thanks to essential funding offers a variety of courses each week to suit different needs. With sessions dedicated to Family Cooking (helping parents and carers cook healthy balanced meals for all the family), sessions to help people with barriers to employment who are interested in a career in professional cookery and teaching vulnerable people how to cook healthy meals on a budget, there are lots of fantastic opportunities.
These projects are funded and have had invaluable support from the William Grant Foundation, Foundation Scotland and Robertson Trust. They have also had support from the Rotary Club of Ayr, NHS Community Food Grant, Local Participatory Budgeting events and many other funders to whom the Centre are indebted. On the night the “Early Years Nursery”, which operates from the Centre, opened its doors too and had plenty for the little ones to enjoy, giving many parents the opportunity to chat with the managers of the nursery. One of the Centre’s sponsored groups “Carrick Sensory”, now in its second year, was showcasing its Sensory Cafés which are specifically set up to help children who experience barriers to play and provide an opportunity to meet with other families. With water tables, sensory blankets, sensory lights and more it was a popular attraction on the night.
There was so much to see and do and many of the visitors commented with surprise about the number and type of activities and services that were available and enjoyed learning about what they could access.
From Dancing, Fitness, Martial arts, Yoga, Pilates, Health & Well-being, Arts & Crafts, Cinema Clubs, Fantastic Projects, Employment and Volunteering opportunities – and entertained by: “Gaiety Act Out” who ran some fantastic display workshops and the lovely singing of the “Carrick Children’s Theatre Voices” - the two hours flew by.
With the evening drawing to a close everyone was invited to join the team to draw the raffle which was to win vouchers for some of the Centre’s great Christmas Events. Up for grabs was “Breakfast with Santa”, a “Festive Lunch” and a “Festive Supper”.
To round off the night everyone was asked to provide feedback on the “Have Your Say” display about the Centre’s services and development which will all go towards the Centre’s future plans and the winners of the “Have Your Say” survey which had run all summer and been taken to various community events in the area was also drawn.
Helen Moreland, the Centre’s Strategic Development Officer commented: “It’s been a great night and we would like to thank everyone who helped make the night a success from all those who came along, the clubs and services, the councillors and all the staff of the Centre.
“We hope it has shown that there is so much available to the whole community and visitors to the area and we look forward to continue to develop the services in line with the needs of the people of North Carrick.”
If you are interested in any of the Centre’s projects or activities or would just like to find out more about what goes on at the Centre you can follow them on Facebook and at www.carrickcentre.co.uk or pop-in for a coffee!