Dunmow’s Arts Centre needs help

ONE of Great Dunmow’s most valuable community assets is facing financial difficulties after losing 25 per cent of its monthly income.

By Nick Thompson

The non-profit making Arts Centre on Haslers Lane has been directly affected by the credit crunch and is currently struggling to provide the number of services it wants to, according to manager and founder Jacky Rom.

“What we need is more groups and volunteers to come here and help us out a bit,” she said. “We are not in danger of closing down or anything as bad as that, but we have lost around �1,000 a month and we cannot afford to lose that much money.”

Revenue has gone down as groups using the centre have dwindled because people cannot afford to take part in many clubs and activities, despite the prices being low.

As a result Mrs Rom has had to cut staff numbers from the administration and grants department of the organisation.

She said: “We cannot afford to pay someone to search and apply for grants on our behalf, so we are having to do it ourselves again – we are already very busy but the grants are vital to keep us going.

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“We are having to re-examine our focus a bit and concentrate on certain areas – what we need is for people to help us out and as a result help out the community.

“Whether that be volunteering, sponsoring or donating simple items like paint, paper or pens – anything and everything is welcome.”

The Arts Centre was launched in an old industrial building in 2007 and has housed community events, groups, clubs and activities ever since – it was also listed as a finalist in the Essex Business Awards for 2010.

Set up and run almost entirely by volunteers, it has helped children learn new skills in theatre, acting, singing, music and cooking amongst many others. It has also helped many adults achieve and learn in the same way.

Its mission statement is “We aim to encourage all local people of all ages and abilities by bringing them together in our community Arts Centre. We hope to broaden people’s abilities whilst giving them new skills and confidence, with a precedence on occupying young peoples spare time.”

The centre is close to sealing grants of �12,000 for pull out theatre seating worth �18,000 and is also looking for �20,000 for theatre lighting to help stage productions.

If you think you can help the centre contact Mrs Rom on 01371 878020 or just pop in.