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Rotunda Community College

Rotunda Newsletter Issue 1 March 2012


Rotunda Community College ACCESSIBLE, EDIBLE COMMUNITY GARDEN Over the last year Rotunda in partnership with Liverpool Probation Service has created an edible garden from a derelict building site. The aims of the project are to open the garden area to the public and also to run gardening classes at Rotunda community college. We are planning big things for 2012 to make it fully accessible for people with disabilities. The vegetables that have already grown in the edible garden are being used in the rotunda cafĂŠ and we hope that excess produce will be available on a market stall. We are also planning to expand the range of use of Rotunda Square (the green area in front of the college buildings). We hope to transform it into an urban village of creative expression and healthy choice activities for the whole of North Liverpool. We have already installed some outdoor sports equipment and hope to add to these. We are grateful for the help we are receiving from Merseyside Disability Federation and the Forestry Commission on this project.


Rotunda Community College New Partners at Rotunda

We are really pleased to welcome two new organisations who have come to live with us on Great Mersey Street. They are Families Fighting for Justice (FFFJ) and Richmond Fellowship (RF). Both organisations work with people who need support (FFFJ with families who have lost someone in violent circumstances and RF with adults with mild to moderate mental health needs. We hope our partners will be happy here.

FREE Nursery Places If childcare has been a barrier preventing you from changing your life then this is just what you’ve been waiting for! Our nursery was recently refurbished and provides a fabulous, happy and safe environment where children can have fun and learn at the same time. We offer free nursery places for the children (aged 1 to 5) of all our students. We can also offer free places for non-students, depending on your circumstances. Contact Cynthia on 0151 207 2176 to get further details.


Rotunda Community College Kitty’s Award Our wonderful volunteer of 25 years Kitty Sullivan has recently been awarded the title of “Unsung Hero” by Liverpool Megacentre – another in a list of awards for Rotunda and its staff. Kitty is just one of an amazing team of volunteers, without whom Rotunda could not run such a variety of courses and activities. To learn more about volunteering. Visit: www.therotunda.org.uk

Rotunda won the award for Best Community Organisation of the Year the previous year at the inaugural ceremony of the ‘Night of Honour’ in November 2010. These awards show that Rotunda really does what we say on the tin: we inspire, support and enable the community to achieve their true potential. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible.


Rotunda Community College Vote for Education Campaign Rotunda’s “alternative voting campaign” took part around the streets of Kirkdale in February. Using a lorry, loud hailer and staff and volunteers dressed in 70s gear, the team worked its way round all the streets in the area, publicising the courses on offer at Rotunda. Although some people were a little bemused by the sight, the campaign was well received and lots of local people have signed up for the new courses available. We are pleased to say that due to this Campaign we have 35 new learners who are now enriching their lives with education.

Sorry to anyone who thought our approach to promoting education was a political campaign. We apologise for any offence caused! And if our music was too loud, we’ll turn it down next time!


Rotunda Community College Counselling Thanks to generous funding from John Moores University we were able to provide free counselling to hundreds of people from 15 to 80 years of age over the past 3 years. Sadly that pot of funding has now come to an end and although we have a small amount of funding available, we need to find new funding sources. If you know of any sources of funding, please do let us know!


Rotunda Community College Young People (Out of School Club) The things Rotunda offers young people is continually changing as the needs of young people from the area and beyond shape the service we offer. Plans for this summer’s activity are currently under discussion, so watch this space! We also have a Youth Group and despite central government cutbacks and withdrawal of funding for our youth worker, we have continued to develop several youth programmes with the support of volunteers committed to working with our young people. We have several funding applications in the pipeline and if any of these are successful they will enable these programmes to continue to run.


Rotunda Community College Rotunda’s Alternative Education Programme (AEP) Some kids just do not get on with school. So what’s the alternative? AEP is the answer! Now in its second year, AEP caters for students with complex needs, a history of emotional and behavioural issues as well as poor attendance and negative attitudes to school and authority in general. The first year was very successful with some of the students choosing to return during the summer holidays, which was a great result. The achievements resulted in AEP receiving an outstanding rating after a Local Authority visit.


Rotunda Community College Rotunda’s Alternative Route to Employment Programme We are delighted to report that rotunda will be delivering an ESF funded community learning programme. Rotunda’s Alternative Route to Employment Course, starts 2nd May 2012. Along with our partners Adult Learning Services, WEA and Liverpool Community College we will be delivering functional skills such as English and Maths, employability and enterprise in an alternative way.


Rotunda Community College Working with Offenders Rotunda has worked with Merseyside Probation Service Community Payback for many years. We are now working with them on personal and social development techniques whilst offenders complete unpaid work within a community setting. Our programme encourages offenders to re-evaluate their life choices, take steps to avoid making the same mistakes in future and make a positive contribution to society; ultimately leading to a reduction in crime and the effects of crime in general. One of the projects they are becoming more involved with is our Community Garden.


Rotunda Community College Development of College Buildings We are delighted to have secured ÂŁ1.3 million Heritage Lottery funding for the renovation of our vacant Grade 2 Listed building, 107 Great Mersey Street. This is a massive achievement for both Rotunda and local residents in not only saving our valuable local heritage but creating a unique facility which will attract many more people to the area. Building work will soon begin to create a local heritage centre with events and activities for all ages, a new cafĂŠ which will be open to all and facilities for small businesses. We will be accessible to all and uniquely provide a fully restored Georgian training and conference room with all the mod cons needed for a range of users.

We will add even more value to the Project by specifying the use of local co work skills labour where possible on the construction works, providing placement opportunities for 6 apprentices to gain heritage and address the severe heritage skills gap on Merseyside, provide 6 new permanent jobs and numerous project commissions and volunteer opportunities.

We see this as the first step to creating a vibrant and attractive new Kirkdale and will be looking to develop a strategic plan for the remaining buildings and acquire further capital funding for them.


Rotunda Community College Friends of Rotunda

Latest Vacancies

Everyone needs friends and Rotunda is no exception. So the support and advice that have been given by Liverpool City Rotary Club has been brilliant!

Trustees Required:

They adopted Rotunda as their first charity and have given so much in kind, e.g. the development of Rotunda Friends, a business plan for the nursery, provision of painters and decorators, the services of a quantity surveyor, research and land ownership, advice on personnel issues and support for our young people.

We are looking for people with a range of experience to join our current board. If you are passionate about the Arts, Holistic learning and community, we would like to hear from you. Please see our website for more details..

Job Club Mentor: We are currently looking for volunteers to help support our Job Club. If you think you have what it takes to support members of the community back into employment – then contact us today on: 0151 207 2176


Rotunda Community College Volunteers at Rotunda Have you ever thought of volunteering but worried that you would have to commit too much time – or maybe you feel your skills are not up to date? The Volunteer Programme at Rotunda is designed to suit everyone, whatever their abilities, skills or time available. The sort of jobs available range from cafe assistant to reception worker; from gardener to nursery assistant. You will be given training and a chance to update your skills and confidence. We recognise the invaluable contribution volunteers make to our service and celebrate their commitment by hosting an annual Volunteers Thank You Event. Interested? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator Donna Williamson on 0151 207 2176 for further info or visit our website..


Rotunda Community College Volunteer Facts: In 2010 - Volunteers had the opportunity to become ambassadors for Liverpool’s “Sense of place project”. Some of our volunteers had the chance to go to Hungary as Ambassadors – a fantastic opportunity! 2011 - 10 volunteers achieved ASDAN certification in work experience. 2012 will see our Volunteer Programme grow from strength to strength as we embark on a new initiative designed to support other voluntary sector organisations facing staffing shortage.


Rotunda Community College

Rotunda is a community led alternative learning resource for all ages, our registered address is 109-115 Great Mersey Street, Kirkdale, Liverpool, L5 2PL. Rotunda is a registered charity 518951 Limited by Guarantee Ltd 2050597 www.therotunda.org.uk


March 2012 Newsletter