The Severn Centre opened in September 2004 and is a multi-purpose sports and community centre in Highley, the largest village in South Shropshire.
It provides high-quality community, leisure, health and life-long learning facilities for the people of Highley and its surrounding areas. The £3.5 million project was developed as a multi agency partnership following extensive research and consultation.
The Severn Centre is a community focused, 'not-for-profit' organisation. The money we make from memberships and the bookings of our sports facilities and meeting and conference rooms is ploughed back into the centre, meaning there are no shareholders and the money goes towards the running of the centre and the facilities we offer to you.
Trustees oversee the running of the centre with the support of one of the UK's leading Leisure Trusts, Halo Leisure. The Board Members are forward thinking and enthusiastic about offering the local community a wide range of services and activities, and the staff who run the centre are passionate about delivering these to the valued members of the Highley community.
Our gym, group fitness classes and sports facilities and swimming pool are very popular with local residents; a Severn Centre membership costs less than £1 a day. But it's not all about the gym; we are also home to childcare services, a library, masses of clubs and societies and even a vet!
Five interesting facts about the Severn Centre...
- The Centre is open for more than 70 hours each week.
- We receive over 70,000 visits per year.
- There is a choice of over 70 activities at The Centre.
- Membership is less than £1 per day. Discounts are available to students, those on means tested benefits and people aged 65+.
- Leisure opportunities are not the only benefits available to local residents. You will also find a library, police station, Sure Start children's centre, nursery and even a vet at The Centre!
Roy brings such a lot of positivity to the team at Severn and a huge amount of experience. He has been a long time member of the Parish Council, trustee of the social club, a member of the swimming pool committee, chairman of the welfare complex and one of the driving forces behind the youth club.
“The services at the Severn Centre can be whatever we want them to be and are always adapting to meet the needs of the people. I come in most days and am still amazed by the diverse amount of activities taking place, for all age groups.
“I would like to see the Severn Centre in an even stronger financial position in the coming years, so more time and resources can be delivered to the Centre so it, in turn, can deliver more services to the community. This is such a great community to live and work in, and the work carried out by the Board over the last 10 years is just beginning to bear fruit, but there is so much more we can do.”
Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge to his role at the Severn following 40 years in the accountancy profession and experience supporting several large capital projects in the area including the Engine House, located next to Highley Station.
“I love the Severn Centre (including, of course, regular visits to Liz’s busy cafe for a delicious homemade lunch), and am so excited to be part of the team involved in its future development. I can foresee improved sustainability and financial viability that will come with growing support from the local community.”
Caroline has been with Severn since its journey began, bringing her skills in management and finance to the Centre as well as a passion for village life (having lived in and loved Highley for over 30 years). She says she knows that still doesn't make her a 'local' but it does make her commited to building on and promoting the best range of services, and increasing the number of people who are able to enjoy the service at the same time.
"I am thrilled to be part of the team that makes the Severn Centre what it is - successful, flexible and available to everyone irrespective of age, race, gender or ability," she says. "We aim to diversify wherever possible to encompass the vision we had all those years ago."
Val brings her skills as a civil servant working for Central Government to the Centre, combined with a long term knowledge and love of the local community. Her leadership, communication and management skills make her an excellent and valued Chair of the Board. Her ability to see the big picture, while focusing on what needs to be done next and being determined to deliver to deadline, helped Severn reach its tenth anniversary in fine form.
"I am glad I am part of the Severn Centre family which is an all-inclusive one," says Val. The Centre has the 'wow' factor and a can-do attitude and it gives me great pleasure to know I am contributing to an organisation that is going from strength to strength."
Madge's love of the community and experience working with volunteers is a huge asset as we communicate and work with local people to grow the services we provide and to make sure they meet local needs.
"It is wonderful to see the facilities expanding, and to have the flexibility to try new things while retaining the core services that are so valued by people in this area," she says.
Marie has lived in Highley all her life and is known for getting stuck into the projects that enrich the local area. She has been a supporter of Severn since the day the plans were drawn up.
"I am so proud of where it is today, and where it is heading in the future," she says. "I come here often, not least because of my work and connections with Highley Minors, and I love to see it so busy, with people enjoying sport, the library, or the social side of the cafe or bar. We want to see every member of our local community come through the doors so Severn Centre can be used to its full potential."
Chris came to the Board after ill health forced him to leave his career on the railways, and left him determined to put something back into the community that had cared for him after his recovery from a brain hemorrhage. He has done that and more, bringing his skills in management and finance and enthusiasm for what a social enterprise can do to the team here at the Centre.
"In austere times social enterprises have to be especially fleet of foot to ensure firstly their survival and, secondly, a sustainable future," he says. "In the future we want to secure our place as a trusted supplier of services to the scattered rural communities of south east Shropshire as well as to local authorities and other stakeholders."