The Parish of Sandal Magna

Renewing the Portobello Community Centre


In 2005 we were invited as a church to be part of a team working with the people of Portobello and partners. These included Wakefield Council, Wakefield District Housing, Primary Care Trust, Ground Work and others depending on the season and the projects.

Portobello Community Forum was established as a small company limited by guarantee so that we could apply for funding and support the work in the Rainbow Cafe which had already begun.
One of our promises to the community of Portobello was that we would never close the shutters! Much funding has come, good things have been done, but then funding has dried up. As a church we felt we needed to pray and trust the Lord Jesus in being able to sustain the work and relationships on Portobello, funding or no funding.

Thanks to the Lord's provision, and with many dedicated workers and volunteers, especially the faithful Pam Payling and Janet Gardiner, and with support from churches in the area, over the past fourteen years we have been able to do just that.

In 2008 we upgraded the Portobello Community Centre.
In 2010 we upgraded the Rainbow Hub and created the all-weather Football pitch.
In 2011 we became a charity thanks to the work of Charles Elliot.
From 2006- 2012 we created the week-long Festival of Soul Portobello with the community and followed up each year thereafter until 2018 with Soul days and events.
We now want to share with you the vision for the next season with Portobello. Funding is much harder to find and so we have needed to look at a sustainable and faith-filled future for how we as a church live and work in this area of the parish.

The Rainbow Hub

Since 2005 we have taken full responsibility for running two buildings: the Rainbow Hub, 26 Duke of York Avenue, and Portobello Community Centre, 20 Portobello Road. This is not possible to sustain in the long term. We have worked with many, many talented people over the years and for the past 5 years Inspiring Community, a small Community Interest company with Paul Prest and Mick Harrison, have worked from offices in the Rainbow Hub and are doing some excellent work with the young people, the vulnerable, and have trained many to support their community in a variety of ways. The next step has been to work through how we can hand the lease for Rainbow Hub 26, Duke of York Ave onto them and not shut the shutters!!

At the end of May, Inspiring Community will work with Wakefield District Housing and be solely responsible for this building and all the activities that flow in and out of it. We are delighted and will continue to work with them as we have always done.

Portobello Community Centre

Many of you will know that we have been awarded a capital grant by the Council to upgrade the Portobello Community Centre which has been used continually but needs a really good refurbishment and fresh vision. The building work begins on 17th May for 4-5 weeks with ATP builders headed by Matt Taylor.

This building was secured in trust for the people of Portobello in 2007. We are delighted to say that all the groups who meet there will be returning after the building renewal;
The Monday Club, Senior and Junior Youth Clubs, Photographic and Craft group, Fusion Youth Clubs, Strong Tower Christian Church and other groups who hire it for a season or for one-off events.

With the reordering we are very excited to be opening an office for the Christians Against Poverty Wakefield Debt Centre in the building. This means that the building will have folk in and out regularly who can really take care of it, and offer that ongoing ministry in a home that we can create for everyone to feel welcome and included.

We have funding for the bulk of the work but there are extras we would love to add; tables and chairs for the cafe area; signage that is colourful and informative; pots and plants; a front gate and an electric shutter to protect the glass doors and few more items! 
If there is anything you would like to contribute to the building please talk to me or Sarah Cutts. Thank you all and please hold this venture in your prayers.

Sally Martin




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Registered Charity Number 1131795.
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