Voluntary and community events and activities are an important aspect of everyday life in Whitstable for both residents and visitors alike.
The town has a wide range of community as well as charity organisations and associations providing not only great events and activities but are also working tirelessly to support local people, the town and its unique heritage.
Whitstable Umbrella Community CentreWhitstable Umbrella Community CentreCommunity Centre
Whitstable Umbrella Centre is a vibrant focal point of the local community and its passions.
We provide an affordable, safe and welcoming home for all; a dynamic venue where over one thousand people a week find support, friendship an fun through a wide range of activities.
At the heart of our work is:
Energy: The energy of people who use our space. Over 40 groups use our high quality halls and rooms for their activities every week making it a home for art, crafts, drama, music and sport. It is a perfect venue for parties, conferences and meetings.
Education: Improving the skills of all. The centre is home to a pre-school nursery and regular adult education sessions in our IT suite.
Engagement: The space is used for confidential support groups and public advice and law clinics. The centre independently raises money for outreach activities focussed on mental health and those most in need.
Enterprise: All our activities are community led; new projects are suggested by people who use the centre and delivered through a dedicated team of volunteers and the Centre Manager. We run a community café where people can meet and enjoy delicious food in our beautiful community garden.
We welcome people to take a part in our work by inviting them to become a member of the centre, a regular volunteer or part of our trustees.
Umbrella clubs run by volunteers, Were set up in Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay, Faversham and Hythe, Initially to give ex-mental health patients a supportive social base in a world that was often lonely and bewildering to them.
But from the beginning Umbrella Clubs have been welcomed as support groups for the whole community and this is helping to break down the stigma attatched to mental illness. Crises can disrupt anyones life : The traumas of bereavement, Disability, Illness, Divorce, Redundancy can isolate people. Just when they most need suppoer,There is always a friend to talk to at Umbrella and if specialist advice on a problem is needed, Members can be helped to contact the appropriate care agency.
Umbrella’s contribution to community health care has been recognised by the personal services unit at the University of Kent and Canterbury. Corrine Thomason, Research fellow in the unit wrote: “Umbrella is innovative because it aims at integration and is completely responsive to user needs. It also seems to liaise well with professionals whilst remaining independent”.
Whitstable Umbrella Community Centre at St Mary’s Hall, Oxford Street, Is available for all the people of Whitstable. The Hall, Heritage Room, Which also serves at the centre’s heritage cafe, Lounge and Computer suite can be hired to bring in revenue and most importantly, Link Umbrella to the rest of the community. Users can drop drop in for an inexpensive meal, For leisure activities, Quiet hobbies, For help with a worry or to just chat. Please pick up our leaflets to find out more about us. Everyone is welcome to visit the centre to find out what is available, So please come along and see us when you have a moment to spare – you will be made most welcome.