About SMCA


 

SMCA is a small charity based on the Phipps Bridge Estate, where it runs a small Community Centre on a modest budget. The London borough of Merton (LBM) provides core funding for administrative staff with running costs met from grants, partnerships, room lettings and organized events.

 

SMCA offers a broad range of activities, reflecting the diverse community it serves. Bringing people together for group activities reinforces common interests, promotes inclusiveness, encourages friendships, and broadens horizons. Our programme of activities and services offers leisure, learning and support at affordable prices. Relevance and affordability are key to its work. There is an independent nursery on site, but it does not form part of SMCA.

 

Consultation and inclusiveness are key features of SMCA’s work. Our staff regularly collect client feedback allowing us to monitor activities against outcomes. Policies, and board minutes are readily available on our notice board, and webpage, we also use social media to advertise local forum news, and events.

 

Local partnerships include Merton Council, Merton Connected, the NHS Health Connect, Met Police, Phipps Bridge Youth Centre, Haslemere and Benedict Schools, the local GP and Pharmacy, Deen City Farm, and many other local community providers. SMCA collaborates with new partners as needs are identified, working in partnership with providers, and balancing the most needed services that best complement SMCA’s programme.

 

Efficiency measures recently include: the purchase of a Microsoft cloud-based system; online finance cloud-based system and updating the website to make it a more informative, user friendly and effective marketing tool; SMCA also purchased the services of a leading of HR and Health & Safety provider, to ensure that SMCA is compliant with all the relevant legislation.

 

In recent years, SMCA’s economic management has kept progress steady and has a history of covering our costs, whilst being able to deliver a good service. With the advent of Covid-19, 2020/21 underwent a unique and challenging year for SMCA. We closed our doors to our local community in March 2020 and began a staged re-opening from late April 2021. Our non-core funding was negligible, and the board had to monitor SMCA’s finances evermore closely making some tough decisions.

 

Throughout 2020/2021 we were busy dealing with Covid-19 safety compliance requirements, on-going maintenance issues and reviewing and refreshing our in-house policies to better support us as we emerged from closure.

 

The pandemic has thrown up new challenges across the borough e.g., food poverty, increased unemployment, digital inequality; health issues, both physical and mental, are also likely to feature on the borough’s agenda as we emerge from the pandemic. SMCA plans be sufficiently agile to adapt to the changing landscape and borough priorities.

 

 

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