Volunteers needed to support thriving community hub in Rotherham

Jodie Goodall at Brecks Community HubJodie Goodall at Brecks Community Hub
Jodie Goodall at Brecks Community Hub
An enterprising Rotherham mum who set up her “dream business” is calling for volunteers to help her continue the thriving community hub - and avoid the nightmare of “burn-out”.

Personal fitness trainer and aerobics instructor Jodie Goodall took over the lease of a long-mothballed community centre last year and re-launched it as Brecks Community Hub CIC - community interest company - last March.

It hosts activities including Jodie's fitness classes, indoor bowls, craft clubs, charity events, baby and toddler sessions, yoga, pilates, karate classes, and a diabetes support group.

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Jodie started JRG Fitness Aerobics eight years ago after training in providing group exercise following the birth of her child.

On taking on the community hub, she said: “I used to hire the space for fitness classes and then the long-term tenant called time on their stewardship of the community centre and, as a result of the pandemic, the centre remained out of action for a few years.

“I’d always dreamed of owning my own gym and fitness centre so I swooped in and took on the lease of the building.”

Jodie had support from the Social Enterprise Exchange to learn about how to start and run a business and finding funding.

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“Since then I have worked hard to bring the hub back to life and as a centre for the community,” she said.

“Now we need extra pairs of hands to keep building on what we have.

“Even if it is just opening up, making teas and coffees, a bit of cleaning or playing games,“ Jodie said.

“I don’t want to give the lease back but I have to think about me and burning out.”

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A large overgrown area of the site was recently cleared by volunteers from Voluntary Action Rotherham to help create an area for growers and gardeners, while a skilled woodworker volunteer created a new bench outside the centre.

Jodie added: “People really like the space and I always hear comments about how good it is to see it back open.

“We just need people to keep using it, and more groups to use it - and that means we need more volunteers.”

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