Local voluntary groups will be able to use a brand-new meeting space with free room hire when Stone’s new Community Fire Station opens in February 2015. Fire service representatives outlined the rebuild and room-booking arrangements to Walton residents at an 18th September consultation event.
Located on the first floor and accessible by a wheelchair-friendly lift or stairs, the meeting space consists of a main room, a smaller break-out area, a kitchenette and disabled toilet facilities, Room Booking Officer Alison Myatt told the Gazette. The room capacity will be 20 (with tables) or 40 (chairs only).
The meeting space will be available from 9am – 10pm Mondays – Fridays and from 9am – 5pm at weekends. Because the facilities are free, they will be available to voluntary community groups only, not for celebrations or commercial use, she pointed out. The WI, Mother-and-baby groups, U3A, Scouts and Guides, Drama and Poetry groups are already meeting at Community Fire Stations at Rising Brook and Gnosall.
Groups offering fitness rehabilitation will also be able to use the Fire Station’s Fitness Room provided an appropriately qualified instructor is present. Public Liability Insurance will be provided by the Fire Service, said Project Administrator Jo Bartlett-Walker.
The catch, if you could call it one, is that under its ‘Safer Communities Pledge’ the Fire Service will welcome groups to the Station with a short talk about fire safety and will seek to involve them in fire safety issues such as campaigns on smoke detectors, chip pans and Bonfire Night.
The ‘Safer Communities Pledge’ as a customer pay back scheme for people who use the free facilities at their Community Fire Station.
It could be as simple as sharing something you’ve learned during your visit to the station with a neighbour, volunteering a couple of hours a month to do a ‘meet and greet’ or by sharing the latest safety information with your community group.
“Once the new Fire Station is built, we will be putting on an open day to introduce our new facilities,” said Alison. To find out more, phone Safer Communities Community Interest Company on 01785 898516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org