Reverse the notice to close Community Fitness Gym, Miners Hall, Beaufort
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We are a not-for-profit organisation, built on volunteers and health experts who freely give up personal time to repair equipment, fix toilets and induct members in a gym totally supported by the members. Member who actually join, pay what they are able, rather than fixed amounts, given the socially economic deprived area in which we live of Blaenau Gwent. We do not insist on contracts from members but build the gym around the notion of community and trust. Most members pay £10 per month as a joint-partner fee. We did this so as to discourage single user members, simply for safety reason so that no one trains alone in the gym.
All the gym equipment over £40k was donated by DNA Definitive, Dr. Paul Thomas and new items added to each month by the members surplus fees. It has been an incredible 5 years in operation.
We would add that whilst we have attracted well over 2000 'members', inducted and health checked. Given that we volunteer to induct these members in and around our full-time jobs, this eviction is a huge disappointment. Especially when there have been given no notice or explanation to date. All our monies gathered each month by the Community Fitness Gym members is sent as per the SLA to the Miners Welfare Hall Committee, led by Chair and former Councillor Dave White, and any spare is put back into purchasing new equipment and repairing current. No monies are taken for profit or staff.
An Update Report created by the members, sent in May, sent feedback on the successes of the gym over the past two years, lists current issues and more so the increasing opportunities for expansion, development, and funding in health and well being in the Valleys. The response we had from the Committee, was defensive and perhaps reflects the failure of the Committee to truly grasp the incredible work of the gym, its volunteers and impact on the health of the community and beyond. The Chair even had the Showers/Changing rooms removed because they wanted 'them for offices'. It is a disappointing waste of facilities.
We also requested in June 2017 this information:
- The full financial records of the hall over the past three years, which detail both income and expenditure.
- The past two years expenditure on major items such as kitchen, flooring, and toilets.
- How the 'Committee' was selected and deselected, and when this occurred,
- The hall usage figures, including time of hire, income from the specific clubs etc. for the past two years.
- The formal minutes of the Committee Meeting, date, times etc. in which our Update Report was formally received and this response agreed by the Committee.
None of which have been provided.
However, on the 4th September, we received notice of eviction. No explanation or justification. (Letter published on Twitter, FB and posted in the Hall)
We want to democratically change this decision to protect the Hall, the community health and access for members of the Community Fitness Gym.
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