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The D’Urberville Centre, Wool is a community centre which provides leisure facilities for the residents of Wool Parish.

It is governed by a constitution approved by the charity commissioners for England and Wales and is overseen by a group of Trustees and a Management Committee on behalf of Wool Parish Council.

The D’Urberville Centre was built in the early seventies and is starting to feel its age. A new group of Trustees were appointed in 2018 and they are committed to bringing the building into the 21st century, improving the facilities and hosting more events so that it can be enjoyed by the whole community

The Trustees developed a four-stage plan, the first of which is ‘Make it Legal and Safe’. Not all, but the majority, of the work done so far will have been invisible to users of the hall. All lot of safety tests have been carried out such as Legionella, asbestos, electricity, gas, fire safety etc. All the tests have been completed and action plans have been drawn up. The risks are being managed and work will be complete by the end of this year. The Trustees will be updating the charity and the management structure this year (more about this in a future update)


The second stage of the plan is ‘Make it Professional. The D’Urberville now has a website, a booking system, invoices by email and the ability to pay by bank transfer. All the quaint, old fashioned options such as booking by phone and stuffing an envelope of cash though the Booking Clerk’s letterbox have been retained. Central heating was installed last summer and the Booking Clerk controls the heating via the internet so the hall is warm when you arrive. A caretaker and two cleaners are now employed to maintain the centre but cleaning and maintaining a building of that size is akin to painting The Forth Bridge. In August the centre will close for a week and the gents’ toilets will be ripped out and replaced. The hall floor will also be repaired and varnished.


The third stage of the plan is ‘Attract More People’. The main hall is now largely full of regular bookings during the week but weekends are kept free for people to book one-off events.  New bookings include Hoopers dog agility, kick boxing, the YMCA kids holiday club, Pushchairs and Pumps, and Wiggles and Giggles (check the website for details) These new bookings run alongside the old favourites of Wool Country Market, yoga, Pilates, bowls, drama, Slimming World, football, short tennis, the youth club and the carnival. 


The main effort this year has gone into the first three stages, the fourth stage is ‘Deliver More Offers’. In October The D’Urberville Centre will take part in The Purbeck Film Festival for the first time with a screening of ‘Top Gun’. There will be more initiatives to follow… What would you like to see happening at The D’Urberville? Please contact us with ideas or if you’d like to help

Steve Smith, Trustee, Centre Manager and Booking Clerk, May 2019

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