The world of Meeting Centres is ever-changing, so although the following may well be out-of-date by the time you read it, we thought we’d try to give a quick round-up of what’s been going on. Spoiler alert: a LOT has happened despite the pandemic!
Four new Meeting Centres (Worcester City, Evesham, Malvern Link, Malvern Hills) have opened as part of Worcestershire Meeting Centres Community Support Programme funding, with two further Meeting Centres approved in Kidderminster and Stourport.
Droitwich Spa reopened in April and numbers have been growing since then.
West Midlands more broadly
Leominster reopened in August 2020 and managed to remain open since then, albeit with reduced numbers due to Covid restrictions. Now almost back to normal but bookings are still required to manage numbers.
Hereford veterans Meeting Centre opened, specifically supporting veterans with dementia.
Herefordshire online Meeting Point has proved successful and restarted in September following a summer break. Funding is being sought to expand the number of Meeting Centres in Herefordshire.
Ross re-opened in September and runs every Wednesday.
Sandwell are getting staff in place and are aiming to open two Meeting Centres in early 2022.
Purbeck have had to look at an alternative venue as their previous venue is being used as a Covid vaccination centre.
Swanage is also looking at opening a Meeting Centre, which would link well with Purbeck.
In Bristol one Meting Centre is in progress and funding for another three is being planned.
North Somerset has three venues booked and a manager in place, so are hoping to open soon.
It’s still early days, but there is strong interest in Meeting Centres being opened in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Work is progressing on Meeting Centres in Liverpool and the Wirral.
The Northampton group has reopened with reduced numbers due to restrictions.
The Leicestershire group has been back up and running since May with appropriate Covid measures in place.
North Tyneside has had one Meeting Centre up and running since July, with another hoping to get going in the near future.
Powys have been continuing to provide online support to members and carers and have just re-opened their four Meeting Centres in Brecon, Llandrindod, Ystradgynlais and Newtown. A fifth Meeting Centre is also opening in Welshpool.
There is a lot of work going on across Scotland with new funding opportunities, including from the Life Changes Trust.
Kirriemuir reopened in a new venue, having bought and renovated it during lockdown. They have also secured funding to help develop three new Meeting Centres in Angus.
Dunblane opened at the beginning of September, and numbers have been growing ever since.
East Lothian is looking to open a Meeting Centre in Musselburgh in April 2022, and are currently working to find and secure a suitable venue.
Prestwick is progressing well with a venue identified and funding in place to enable the Meeting Centre to open fairly soon.
Fife is planning a Meeting Centre and funding has been applied for.
So that’s a whistle-stop tour of Meeting Centres in the UK! Apologies to anyone who we may have missed off, or who has made progress since we put this summary together. The Meeting Centres picture is constantly evolving and it’s hard to keep track of all the great work going on!!
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