Telling the community about our work

ORCHARDS Visitors can enjoy the natural environment and activities at the Stacey Community Centre
ORCHARDS Visitors can enjoy the natural environment and activities at the Stacey Community Centre

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Tracy Jones, wants to make the people of Portsmouth more aware of the opportunities available at the Stacey Community Centre

The centre has various activities such as table tennis, boogie bounce, Zumba and we host an over-50s lunch club every Thursday.

We want to get the centre better known in the city as we have lots of opportunities for the community to get involved.

We recently had great coverage in The News surrounding our Southsea Greenhouse project. Since then we have seen more volunteers come in to the centre.

The centre is owned and run by Amber Dyer, a graduate in child education with 15 years’ experience working in and managing ‘outstanding’ rated settings.

In 2013 Amber set up the first Forest Schools toddler group in Portsmouth. She believes passionately in the concept of child-initiated play and outdoor learning.

She is now focused on the centre, with its mature fruit orchards, wild areas and raised flowerbeds offering a unique environment for children to experience the full benefits of playing and learning outdoors.

The programme Amber is creating is informed by the principals of the Forest Schools movement and the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and Maria Montessori.

The nursery will be a free- flowing environment where children can access indoor and outdoor play stations in all weather.

It will be well equipped with a variety of innovative play and learning equipment created, wherever possible, from natural and up-cycled materials.

Children will be encouraged to learn about the cultivation of plants and to grow and harvest food to eat. Three days a week a hot, home-cooked meal will be provided with all meat supplied by our neighbours at Brandsbury Butchers.

The centre runs events throughout the week. These include tending to the community orchard every Wednesday to provide fresh organic fruit and veg to the centre and a men’s shed project which aims to provide a social and learning experience which includes DIY, horticultural work, restoration and repair.

Recently we have launched our community cycle centre, where volunteers recycle unwanted bicycles and refurbish them for re-use in the community.

This will be open every Saturday from 10am, welcoming visitors who wish to donate bikes or to take one in exchange for a donation.