Our vision is to develop, in partnership with others, inclusive and welcoming spaces for people in and around Dronfield to enjoy and use; these spaces will include facilities designed to meet the needs of children and families, young people, the elderly and people of all ages who would like to meet and socialise.
To achieve our vision we will:
Work in collaboration with other organisations and community groups
Provide a loving, supportive and safe environment which is open to all
Have a person-centred focus that puts the needs of the individual first
Deliver an excellent and affordable provision
Life is all about actively supporting everyone in our local community regardless of age, race, religion or gender. As a charity we also have some specific objectives and priorities around the following groups
Dronfield and District is a fantastic place to bring up a family. It has easy access to Sheffield and the Peak District, as well as excellent schools and plenty of green spaces. This means many young families move into Dronfield, often without support networks of close friends and the extended family. This can lead to parents or care givers feeling isolated and lonely. Fortunately, several baby and toddler groups exist across the town. These groups fill a gap, but there are times when there is no place for parents with young children to meet and socialise without the pressure of needing to keep their children quiet and entertained.
With its outstanding secondary school, Dronfield sees 1800 pupils in the town each week day heading to and from school. With the pressure on local government funding, youth support from Derbyshire County Council has had to shrink. So whilst the support from the County Council is excellent, the hours of support are extremely limited. A current church led project sees as many as 80 young people drop in on a Friday night. The biggest request young people have in Dronfield, is to have a warm, safe place to socialise with their friends.
Life will meet this need, aiming to be open into the evenings as a place for young people to hang out in a structured and supported way. Life will be open before and after school, offering a place for young people to get a quick breakfast as well as a study venue where support can be given for homework.
The Lonely and the Isolated
In recent years the issues around loneliness and Isolation have been brought to the forefront through media and national campaigns. We recognise that there are people in our community who feel lonely and isolated. A weekly lunch club already runs in Dronfield through one of its churches. Those who attend talk about how much they love coming out to it and having the chance to chat and catch up with other people.
Life will look to replicate this 6 days a weekly offering simple, affordable snacks as well as a nutritious hot meal of the day. There will be no expectations on anyone to buy food. They can simply just come in, read a book, play a board game and engage with others. We will have specific “chat tables”, where, if you want to talk to someone you can sit and someone will come over and engage in a conversation with you. We want Life to be a place for everyone, where all feel comfortable and cared for.
The Story So Far
A vision for a Community Space in Dronfield and District was shared with the leadership team at St Andrew's Church.
The vision was shared across the Churches in Dronfield and District. A core team was formed and met fortnightly to see the vision become a reality
The core team met and pursued a number of buildings to house the charity, with them all falling through at an early stage.
The core team began discussions with St John's Church around whether they could purchase their Halls.
Life Dronfield CIO was formed. Life agreed a purchase price of £200,000 for the Halls. A trustee had a chance meeting with Kris Barry an ecclesiastical architect
Numerous searches, surveys and plans were commissioned for the Halls. Supporters began regular financial giving.
Planning permission was applied for and granted. Over 100 Christmas Hampers were distributed across Dronfield and District in collaboration with the District Nursing Team.
After the success of the Christmas Hampers, over 300 Easter Eggs were distributed across our Community. Through discussion with St John's, they decided they would rather offer Life Dronfield a 100 year lease of the Halls, instead of selling them. A lease document was written and is currently in the hands of solicitors
After lots of discussion with St John’s Church it was decided that it would work best for all parties if The Gavins Foundation purchased the Halls and then leased them back to Life Dronfield, with a purchase agreement in place for Life to buy the building back once they had completed renovations
In January the rear roof was replaced to make the building water tight and to meet the planning permission. On 1st June 2023 The Gavins Foundation purchased the Halls and we took over the day to day running of the building. Once renovated Life will purchase the building back from The Gavins Foundation. By the end of September, a contractor will be chosen to carry out the full renovation to the site