Last week we had our first full Directors' meeting since opening We are really pleased that the number of people visiting has exceeded our projections and expectations and that the majority of our feedback has been positive. We have taken on board feedback that wasn't so positive and made constructive changes to address any issues raised. We have had over 3,000 visitors since opening just over 3 weeks ago and that isn't including shoppers visiting Urmston Emporium!
Thanks to your support, we are already planning to add to our facilities and make upgrades to what we already have!
Cheeky Cherubs is a Social Enterprise; this means that any profits we make are reinvested in the centre. It also means that we do not have an unlimited budget or millionaire backers - many local people and businesses, and the directors themselves, have given their time, skills and goodwill freely to get Cheeky Cherubs to where it is now! There are areas of the play centre that we are still developing and the whole project is a work in progress. The centre that we have at the moment is a starting point that will be expanded and improved. We hope that over the next few months several exciting changes will take place, as well as some not so exciting changes, which will make Cheeky Cherubs bigger and better!
The first big change is that work is commencing work on adding a party room to the 1st floor; this will enable us to make our Sensory Room larger than we had originally planned and make the existing party room exclusively an early learning and crafts area. We are swapping the whiteboard in the craft area for a magnetic blackboard and chunky chalks; some children have been very "free" in their artistic expression and chalk is easier to clean! We will be starting planned craft sessions and activities in September.
The second change is that work will soon start on our Sensory Room. Having a play centre which caters for all children, including those with additional needs, has always been at the heart of Cheeky Cherubs' vision and we can't wait to start work on it! We are currently visiting other Sensory Rooms and consulting with several groups, individuals and services with expertise in this area. We are hoping that it will be ready in September. We already have funding in place for this thanks to our fabulous local community, Barclays, Forever Manchester and Manchester Airport Community Fund.
We had the dubious pleasure of opening in a heatwave, although the building does have air conditioning, it is concentrated at the front of the building so not much help to hot children at the back of the centre! Following feedback from parents, and our own observations, we are extending and improving the air conditioning so that we can control the temperature more effectively during the summer months.
The area at the rear of the centre, by the toilets and pushchair park, is being carpeted this week, we had hoped to have this done prior to opening but ran out of available funds! This will be a huge cosmetic improvement and will save us loads of time apologising to people for it!
The front of the building should be changing dramatically over the coming weeks; not only do we have well known local artist Kelzo creating some much needed public art for Urmston above the entrance, we have vinyl signage, designed and supplied by Primeprint on Flixton Rd, being fitted to the entrance area to make us easier to find!
The rest of Victoria Parade will also be revitalised very soon, with the opening of several new bars, restaurants and an ice cream parlour and we are confident that it will soon be a thriving corner of Urmston again. A big change for an area that was used by a TV company as a filming location for a derelict shopping centre only a few months ago!