CSEP Member
Conisbrough Community Association Ltd

Conisbrough Community Association was formed in July 1976 following local government re-organisation in April 1974 which resulted in the demise of the then Conisbrough Urban District Council and left gaps in the provision of services to the Community.

A Public Meeting was held in the village, chaired by the then Chairman of the Education Committee of DMBC, Cllr. Haigh of Mexborough, and supported by 122 residents.

The Association was officially formed on 21st July, 1976 and its first Chairman was the new Vicar of Conisbrough, Rev. Ian Chisholm.  Mrs. Sheila Rigg was appointed Secretary and PC. Rod Highton, the then Community Constable, became the first Treasurer.

The Association ran from the office of the Urban Playleader (Sheila Rigg) at DMBC premises annexe in the Priory grounds, Conisbrough and dealt mainly with recreational and educational activities for all age ranges in the community, hiring local Authority premises for its successful functions.

In 1981 CCA moved into the almost defunct Elm Green Lane Centre (DMBC) where it made internal alterations which enabled the Centre to attract more users.

Sheila Rigg, as current Youth Worker, was seconded to the Social Services department with the brief of filling the usage or closure.

In 1984, with the help of Age Concern, Doncaster, other user groups were formed and the building quickly became full to capacity usage, a ceiling for fire regulations and other problems being only 100 persons.

By 1989 membership of the Community Association reached over 800, and the EGL Centre was incapable of housing the membership.

Along came the Central Government´s City Challenge Programme which was administered by the newly-formed Dearne Valley Partnership, and although our entry for funding for a new purpose-built Community Centre for Conisbrough was made in the very initial opening programme of 1991, we were not successful in getting our application laid on the table by our local representatives until the end of the programme, early 1996

On completion of the building in April 1997 the keys were handed to the Community Association by the builder, but for reasons best known to themselves, the local Authority, who were supposedly our partners in the scheme, could not (or would not) support the rest of the programme and we were left with a brand-new, beautiful but entirely empty building.

We opened to the public on 1st September, 1997 and immediately began the task of fund-raising with which to equip the beautiful and very large premises for public and community use, borrowing items of furniture, etc, from old contacts in the education fields.

With the help of a small grant from Lloyds TSB we were able to purchase crockery and cutlery and moved on from there.

It took seven years of fund-raising and committed voluntary input to be in a position to begin trading as a Charitable Company, and on 1st August 2004 CCA Ltd, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity was officially formed and began trading

Still entirely self-funding CCA applied for and were rewarded with recognition by The Duke of York´s Community Initiative, a scheme operated for the entirety of Yorkshire by the St. Williams Foundation, based in York, and under the personal patronage of HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York. 

This opened new doors into similar groups within the South Yorkshire area, and the Ivanhoe Centre began receiving visitors from farther afield, mainly to share good practice and learn from our success.

Past and long standing contacts within the Local Authority, the Health Authority and the South Yorkshire Police Authority brought corporate bookings for the premises and little by little we climbed the ladder.

In October 2007 we were chosen as the venue for the Annual Awards ceremony for the DOYCI, which brought 300 delegates plus HRH to the Ivanhoe Centre and gave Conisbrough and its residents a day to remember.

Following on from that we were again awarded a further three-year renewal of the DOYCI scheme, and this year we intend to apply again, having completed a further internal new project to qualify, one that benefits the community and gives profile to our mission statement, which is to increase the Quality of Life of residents of Conisbrough and Denaby.

Following a very successful and high profile Celebration Evening to commemorate our achievements in the DOYCI scheme, held on 6th June, 2009, a sell-out audience of 200 persons enjoyed a full 4-course meal with wine and one hour of entertainment, plus a personal letter of congratulation from HRH via his representative, David Moody, Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, we were recommended from an unidentified source to be entered into the IFA Awards programme for 2009, which resulted in an interview in London and an invitation to the Kensington Roof Gardens when selected to be in the final category for the title of Social Enterprise of the Year 2009, which we won!!

Well, it was Social Entrepreneur of the Year, really, but CCA is a team and always will be, and from there came our decision to enter the Social Enterprise category.

Contact with the Doncaster CVS Social Enterprise team was by default, but a very happy default.

We were pleased to be invited to the 2010 Showcase and have since sent staff representatives on two courses organised by the CVS team with what will be successful results. 

We are in a new ball game now, constantly looking for sustainability, which is vital, and enjoying the cooperation of the CVS Social Enterprise team and their valued support.

Sheila Rigg, Executive/Company Secretary and Team Leader

Conisbrough Community Association Ltd.

4th June, 2010.


Conisbrough Community Association Limited

The Ivanhoe Centre, Gardens Lane, Conisbrough, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

DN12 3JX

Registered Company No: 3422719

Registered Charity No: 1102995

Tel 01709 860764

Fax  01709 863463

e-mail: enquiries@ivanhoecentre.org

Website:  www.ivanhoecentre.org