Linda Abbott who took over as manager of The Samworth centre before Christmas tells the Melton Times about her time in charge so far and how she plans to make the centre a place the community can be proud of.
Q What is your background?
A I have lived Melton all my life - Meltonian born & bred. I trained in business administration at Melton College, after I left King Edward VII Upper School in Melton. After that I worked for the Wood Yard (Jeld Wen) and a Melton Primary School as school secretary where I then worked for 26 years.
Q How did you get involved with The Samworth Centre and what does your as manager involve?
A I started working here just before Christmas. I saw the job advertised in the Melton Times, I applied, was interviewed and to my delight offered the position. I oversee the day-to-day smooth running of the centre, from room bookings, liaising with our café manager, finance & marketing teams and the parish office to photocopying and making everyone in the office a cuppa.
Q How does the centre benefit visitors?
A The café is the place to come for a cuppa or a meal and get a real Melton welcome. We have a visitor information rack and lots of local knowledge. We are situated in the centre of town and it’s handy for the bus and train station.
Q Who are the type of people to use the facilities?
A A lot of groups meet here either weekly or monthly from business meetings, exercise groups, church groups, counselling services, Leicestershire County Council and NHS groups. We offer catering and you don’t have to be part of St Mary’s Church to book the facilities.
Q What are some of the difficulties you already face in your new role as manager?
A It’s a totally new and different challenge. It was always going to be difficult taking over from the previous manager who worked here from the day the centre opened, however, I’m really enjoying meeting people every day but I know I’ve got lots learn.
Q How important is the centre for Melton’s community?
A The centre is a vital local resource for community use. We currently have a number of groups including The Pram Club, the Youth Group, Care and Share Loss group and church groups.
Q Are the staff all volunteers and what are your opening times?
A A lot of the people who work in the cafe are volunteers, who willingly give freely of their time and come for a full day or a few hours – the café and centre values the help they give greatly and couldn’t operate without them.
The centre is open seven days a week from 9am to 10pm for room bookings. The cafe is open from 9am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 2pm on Saturday.
Q What are some of your plans for the centre and how do you plan to implement them?
A To extend the use of the centre and promote our facilities to ensure everyone is aware it’s open to all.
I’m currently implementing a new booking system and Carol the cafe manager is constantly updating the menu to include seasonal specialities using ingredients from local suppliers.
I’m working hard to ensure everything is streamlined to bring growth.
l The Samworth Cente is located on Burton Street and is near St Mary’s Chruch.
For more details about bookings email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.melton.leicester.anglican.org/samworth