Carol Kerr

Repeat bookings at AGC

The Acklam Green Centre is proving popular with organisations across Tees Valley and beyond, with many of those hiring its rooms for training, conferences, meetings and events booking up on a regular basis after being impressed by the facilities on offer.

Public Health South Tees recently hosted the Dr Janice Kibirige Memorial Tees Contraception and Sexual Health (CASH) Conference for the fourth consecutive year, utilising the centre’s large conference facility, the Roseberry Hall and its two large meeting / training suites, the Taylor Suite and Brownlee Suite, for the day-long event which was attended by over 65 guests.

Jacky Booth, Public Health South Tees Contracts Manager, said: “The Acklam Green Centre is ideal for events like the CASH conference.  Not only is it really accessible with on-site parking, the various sized rooms are equipped with everything we need, allowing us to host this large-scale conference with afternoon workshops for smaller groups. The in-house catering is great too with plenty of options.  The Acklam Green Centre really does offer everything that we need.”

Other organisations that have made the Acklam Green Centre their go-to venue include North Riding County Football Association who regularly hire the centre’s Taylor Suite to run their training courses, including the forthcoming referee course starting in January.  Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Trust and the Tees Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC), among others, also regularly hire the facility for annual meetings and away days.

Donna Smith, facilities manager at Acklam Green Centre, said: “We are delighted to continue to attract repeat business from a wide range of businesses and organisations including the NHS, Public Health and the FA for their regular meetings, conferences and training courses.

“Once people are aware of the versatile facilities here at Acklam Green Centre, including our in-house catering offer, on-site parking and full AV facilities, they tend to return which is really encouraging.  We hope to welcome even more familiar faces and new customers over the coming year.”

#EndPeriodPoverty this Christmas

As Christmas approaches Soroptimist International Middlesbrough is highlighting the issue of period poverty, which can make this happy time of year very difficult for those less fortunate.

The organisation kindly donated a supply of sanitary products to the Acklam Green Centre in the summer for girls and women who are unable to afford to purchase them themselves, and these are now available from the Resource Centre, Actes’ Trending clothing bank as well as at AGC.

The Middlesbrough branch of SI, a global volunteer movement working together to transform the lives of women and girls, is supporting the #EndPeriodPoverty campaign with the donation of the products which have been made available for those visiting the centres, as well as local-residents and Trending clients, to access discreetly.

Pauline Reed membership officer and immediate past president from SI Middlesbrough, said: “Christmas is often a time when people in difficult circumstances can struggle more than usual. Some girls and women are forced to use old clothes, toilet paper and newspapers as alternative solutions to sanitary products, while others have to rely on friends and foodbanks for handouts.

“We hope that the donation of sanitary products will ease the stress a little for people who are struggling at this time of year.”

Females who require products should visit the reception desk at Acklam Green Centre and the Resource Centre and ask for the ‘toiletries box’ where they will be handed a box to take into a private room and select their required products before handing the box back in. 

Donna Smith, centre manager for Acklam Green Centre, said: “We are pleased to continue to support SI Middlesbrough’s #EndPeriodPoverty campaign.  Christmas can be a difficult time for many, so any ladies and girls who would otherwise struggle to purchase these products for themselves are encouraged to come and speak to our reception desks before the centre’s close for Christmas on 21st, where their request will be dealt with discreetly.”

Christmas specials at Café Connect

Visitors to Acklam Green Centre’s WIFI Café, Café Connect can enjoy a range of festive treats throughout December.

Café Connect is offering a mince pie and a tea or coffee (non-speciality) for £1.25, Christmas themed cupcakes for 60p and festive soups such as curried lentil with parsnip and apple, served with a bun for £1.65 during December.  All items are available to eat in or take away.

In addition to the December specials, Café Connect also boasts a deli bar offering a range of fresh fillings for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and salad boxes as well as toasties, paninis and breakfast items.

Café Connect is open to members of the public and those using the centre’s facilities Monday to Friday with breakfast available 9am to 11.30am and lunch available 11.30am until 2.30pm. With free WIFI available throughout, Café Connect is ideal for informal meetings or to enjoy a coffee stop while out and about meeting clients.  

Dementia Friendly festive tea dance

Cleveland Alzheimers Residential Centre Limited (Cleverarc) hosted its Christmas Dementia Friendly afternoon dance at the Acklam Green Centre last week, as part of the Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough initiative.

On Wednesday 5th December 68 invited guests comprising of those living with dementia and their carers from the Middlesbrough community enjoyed a traditional afternoon tea courtesy of Café Connect, a Christmas themed quiz and live music from Class Act in the centre’s Roseberry Hall.

Brian Rowcroft, Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough Business Engagement Lead for Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough Project, said: “It was an outstanding Christmas event to round off a series of afternoon dances enjoyed by people living with dementia and their carers in Middlesbrough.  The benefits of dancing and music are well known for people living with dementia to help them stay active and re-establish memories. Many people danced when they were young, so the music provided by the exceptional Class Act provided an opportunity to relive those past experiences while enjoying themselves and getting in the Christmas spirit.

“Acklam Green Centre is an ideal venue to host our tea dances as it meets all of the requirements of a dementia friendly venue and the caring provided by Café Connect is excellent.”

For further information about Dementia Friendly Middlesbrough visit www.dementiafriendlymiddlesbrough.co.uk or email browcroft@clevearc.com

Leisure space available to hire

Acklam Green Centre is urging leisure businesses starting new year ventures to consider the venue as a base for their classes and activities.

After introducing new reduced rates for those booking the centre’s facilities on evenings from 5pm onwards and at weekends, Acklam Green Centre is hoping that more individuals and groups set up at the centre, adding to the list of community groups which include martial arts classes, meditation and mindfulness sessions and Slimming World classes, which have already made the centre their home.

Donna Smith, facilities manager, said: “New year is a time when lots of people look to improve their fitness, so I would expect there to be lots of instructors getting new classes underway to meet the demand.

“If anyone is looking for a venue to run classes from, I would encourage them to take a look at Acklam Green Centre.  Our two training suites and our large Roseberry Hall are ideal for a range of activities such as yoga, zumba, HIIT classes, bootcamps, dance classes and much more. In addition, we have on-site parking and are easy to get to from the A19, so the centre is ideal for those looking to build up a customer base.

“With the new rates coming into effect in November we hope to add to our already varied timetable of leisure activities and offer even more for the public to enjoy.”

The Resource Centre’s Ford Hall is also available to hire for and is suitable for a wide range of leisure activities. Activities that have taken place in the centre include yoga and line dancing classes.  

For further information about room rates at the Acklam Green Centre or to arrange a no obligation tour of the facilities call 01642 811120 or for the Resource Centre call 01642 255001.

January launch for FA Referee Course

North Riding County Football Association is running an FA referee course at Acklam Green Centre starting on Monday 21st January 2019.

Open to anyone aged 14 and over who is interested in officiating 11 a side or 9 v 9 football, The Referees Course provides participants with an insight to the laws of the game and their practical application on the field of play. It also looks at the skills required to be a referee. Those successfully completing the course will achieve Registered Referee Status (either level 8 Youth Referee or Level 7 Junior County Referee).

The course runs from the centre on four evenings between January and April 2019 (see below link) and there is an additional requirement during Unit 5 to put what they have learnt in their lessons into a match environment. A final assessment will take place during Unit 6.

The course cost is £130 and those who are aged 16 and over will also need to complete an FA CRC (Criminal Records Check) which is included in the cost.  For further information and to book visit: https://bit.ly/2PJBnKD

Cakes for cash at coffee morning

The Acklam Green Centre and Resource Centre recently took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on 28th September, raising £244.00 in valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Care in the process.

Actes staff and generous members of the public, baked and created an array of cakes and goodies including rocky road, fairy cakes, cookies, truffles and scones which were exchanged for cash donations. 

Event attendees also took part in the Place the Cherry on the Gateau game and You’re on a Roll sweepstake which added to the donations. Simon Carson Sports School donated a football as one of the prizes while the Acklam Green Centre donated a lunch voucher.

The events took place simultaneously at Café Connect in Acklam Green Centre’s atrium and in the Resource Centre’s reception area.

Donna Smith, facilities manager at Actes, said: “With a large staff team and two centres open to the public we were ideally placed to host a Macmillan Coffee Morning to raise funds and help make a difference to people facing cancer. 

“Everyone made a fantastic effort with their baking and we were pleased that so many people turned out to donate and enjoy a yummy treat or two in the process. We’re thrilled to have raised £244.00 for this fantastic cause and I’d like to thank everyone involved.”

Deli bar launches at Café Connect

Acklam Green Centre’s in-house WiFi Café, Café Connect has launched a new deli counter offering an extended selection of fillings and salad options for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and salad boxes.

Café Connect is open to the public for breakfast, lunch, drinks and snacks Monday to Friday.  Following a makeover in the summer, the cafe has now updated its menu to include additional fresh fillings such as crab salad and chicken tikka served on large sub-rolls which are now displayed behind the counter for people to pick from along with a range of salad options. Hot roast beef and gravy baguettes have also been added to the offer and homemade soup, toasties, paninis and breakfast sandwiches are also available.

Donna Smith, facilities manager at Acklam Green Centre, said: “We are always looking to improve our customer offer. The introduction of the deli counter means that people have more choice than ever and can see our fresh and tasty fillings for themselves to create a lunch exactly to their liking.

“Not everyone realises that Café Connect is open to the general public and is not just for centre customers, so we hope that the extended menu attracts more people to enjoy breakfast, lunch or just a coffee in our WiFi café.”

Lunch orders are available for collection from Café Connect before 12pm weekdays by calling 01642 811120.

Bootcamp & martial arts classes start up at AGC

In line with the introduction of new evening and weekend rates at Acklam Green Centre, two new activity groups are set to run classes from the centre’s Roseberry Hall from October.

Acklam School of Martial Arts will offer two sessions a week between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday and Friday from the 17th October and Sweaty Mama, a female-only bootcamp class, will take place 7pm to 8pm on Mondays from 29th October.

Acklam School of Martial Arts’ sessions, which will mainly focus on Taekwondo and kickboxing, will be run by fully qualified instructors with over 10 years’ experience and will be suitable for people of all ages and abilities. The first session will be free and following this, adults will pay £4 and children under 10 will pay £3 per session.

Acklam School of Martial Arts’ head instructor, Lee Dixon, said: “We are a family friendly club that welcomes people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities. We’d encourage those who are interested to come along and train in a relaxed, happy environment and have fun.”

For further information about Acklam School of Martial Arts contact Lee Dixon on 07852 769883.

Sweaty Mama bootcamp, which incorporates circuit-style training combining various high intensity workouts, will cost £45 for an eight-week course.

Kirsty Lewis, franchisee at Sweaty Mama UK, said: “Sweaty Mama Bootcamp aims to be a safe and friendly environment for females who motivate each other to work hard whilst having a laugh and seeing great results. To keep everyone from getting a little bored the workouts change each week to avoid repetition.

“High Intensity circuits type training assists in efficient fat burning, however each exercise has lower intensity options for beginners, so there is an option for everyone and their fitness level.

“The eight-week course brings us nicely to mid-December which is perfect time to feel that little bit better about ourselves before we hit those mince pies!”

To book onto the Sweaty Mama bootcamp visit the website www.kirsty.sweatymama.com.  For any queries contact Kirsty via email kirsty@sweatymama.com and for further information visit SweatyMamaMiddlesbrough on Facebook and Instagram.

New evening and weekend rates

Acklam Green Centre has introduced a new rate card for those hiring the centre’s facilities on evenings and weekends in a bid to appeal to more individuals and groups running leisure activities.

Following a review of its pricing, the centre will offer reduced rates for those hiring its meeting rooms, suites and hall for bookings commencing from 5pm onwards on weekday evenings and all day on weekends.  The new rates will come into effect on 1st November in a bid to ensure affordability for all and to help attract more future bookings from people running fitness classes, dance classes, performing arts and similar leisure activities for the public to participate in.

A number of community groups already operate from the centre and include meditation and mindfulness, Slimming World, a church group, martial arts and French and German classes. The facilities team is hoping that the decision will attract even more people looking for space to run their activities from an accessible Middlesbrough venue.

Donna Smith, facilities manager, said: “As part of an analysis of the centre’s current usage alongside identifying potential groups that we would like to attract in future, specifically on evenings and weekends, we recognised the need to bring in an hourly evening and weekend rate to ensure affordability for all.  The new rates will apply to bookings that commence from  5pm onwards on evenings and all day on weekends.

“Our two training suites and our large Roseberry Hall are ideal for running a range of activities such as yoga, zumba, HIIT classes, boot camps, dance classes and much more. In addition, we have plenty of on-site parking and are easy to get to from the A19, so are ideal for groups looking to build up a customer base.

“With the new rates coming into effect we hope to add to our already varied timetable of leisure activities and offer even more for the local community to enjoy.”

For further information about room rates at the Acklam Green Centre call 01642 811120