Barnard Castle's arts centre and community base strengthen links
TWO Barnard Castle venues are collaborating to provide support and activities for the community, despite both still being shut because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
While The Witham continues to host one weekly mental health charity session it remains shut and now its officers are looking at teaming up with TCR Hub to present more online activities.
The move was revealed during Barnard Castle Town Council’s partnerships meeting last week.
The Witham board’s chairwoman, Shelagh Avery, explained how even the centre’s cafe had been forced to closed because of the latest restrictions. She said: “We made a decision it was not appropriate to continue with the takeaways after the Christmas break, particularly with the message ‘stay at home’ being very prevalent, and also due to the fact that our cafe operation is dependent on volunteers who were in the age group at particular risk.”
She added, however, that the board felt it was important to allow entry to the Manhealth sessions that are held each Wednesday.
As to the venue’s reopening she said: “We are constantly monitoring the situation, looking for positive information so we can reopen at the earliest opportunity.
“We get lots of people making requests about when we will reopen, particularly in the short term with the cafe and also performances later in the year, and we will open as soon as we can.”
Ms Avery announced that a TCR Hub online cooking demonstration would be presented from The Witham on Thursday, February 11, and she hoped more joint activities could be held in the future. She said: “Sarah Gent [from The Hub] and Suzanne Wallace [from The Witham] are really excited about that collaboration. I think the message of providing for the community is now more important than it ever was.”
She confirmed there would be no recruitment campaign following the resignation of Susan Coffer as centre manager, but Ms Wallace would take on the role of operations manager. Ms Avery said: “We will take a little bit of time to see which other positions we need in our structure in order that we stay as lean as possible in what I consider will be a future environment of quite restricted funds.”