Welcome..

cropped-image2.jpeg  The Sheriff Centre, St James Church.

Hello and welcome to the blog for The Sheriff Centre, West Hampstead.

This is a very exciting project for West Hampstead and here you can find out what it’s all about, get a bit of background to how it all started and keep up to date with how it’s progressing. We welcome your comments and feedback so please get involved!

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The rainbow slide

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Hullabaloo- some info for parents

Hullabaloo is open!
Our colourful children’s indoor soft play area occupies space in the north aisle of the church and has 3 levels of play. We have a capacity for 40 children with an age range up to 12 years old, with a separate area for younger children.

Children can wriggle their way around this exciting play frame, spy on their parents in the café via the hideout, crawl through tunnels, have races on the rainbow slide, use the canon ball to fire at a target, whizz down the spiral slide, and generally have all kinds of fun. Younger children can enjoy a ball pool, soft toys and interactive games and puzzles.
Parents are welcome to sit in the café which is just across the church with a good view of the action within the play frame. Parents with children in the baby and toddler area must stay close in the seating provided. We have a Hullabaloo worker who is positioned by the entrance and exit to ensure children don’t wander off and to respond quickly and efficiently should there be a need.

We are open Monday to Saturday, 9.30 am to 5 pm. We will also be open early on a Saturday morning from 8.30 am for those of you in need of a place to go with an early riser where you can grab a coffee to keep you awake!

Our prices are:
£4 for age 2 and over
£2 for age 2 and under
Discounts for 3 children, a 3 for 2 price will apply.
The Saturday early bird price is £4 for entry which includes a cup of coffee or pot of tea.
Parties and private hire.

Hullabaloo is available for parties, occasions and private hire.
We will be taking bookings for parties from September.
More information will follow shortly on this.

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The final touches before opening…

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We are open!

After a frantic few weeks, hence the blog silence, our doors opened on Friday 18th July at 1pm. Father Andrew rang out the church bells to mark the occasion!
We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness, support and positive comments we have received and are so grateful to all who have helped us get here.
We are open as a ‘soft’ launch for the next few weeks, to give us chance to iron out any problems or issues in time for our official launch on the 1st August. We are having an open day on the 1st which will see Glenda Jackson come to cut the Post Office ribbon at 11 am, Hullabaloo will be free for the day, the café will be showcasing many tasty delights and we will have all kinds of entertainment, including stilt walkers! The Post Office will be open as normal in order for everyone to go about their business.
We do have a website that is currently under construction and will be live on the day of our launch, more details will follow on this as soon as possible.

Essential Information;
Opening hours;
Post Office – Open at 8 am for combi till services (posting, stamps etc) & again at 5 – 6
Main Office open 9 – 5, Monday – Saturday.

Café – Open Monday to Saturday, 8.30 – 5.30

Hullabaloo – Open Monday to Friday, 9.30 – 5, Saturday, 8.30 – 5.

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And then…

We bought a tent, a very large tent…but that’s a whole other story for another time, it may be genius it may be a disaster, it will certainly be different!

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Hullabaloo arrives…

Hullabaloo arrives!
It’s been an eventful few weeks and suddenly it’s almost been a month since our last post which is like a year in the pace of this project!
We’ve been nonstop. Busily recruiting staff, setting them up with training and some pre-opening projects and tasks, the website is being designed, our logos are now done, we’ve been meeting with suppliers, panicking a bit, making lots of decisions, ordering more furniture , a bit more panicking and then very early on a quiet, beautiful June morning, Hullabaloo arrived…So far so good. We marvelled, we gasped and then we hit a bit of a bump that the design wouldn’t fit! After an anxious night, some measuring, negotiating and compromising we are back on track and looking forward to the first go on the rainbow slide!

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Where did May go?

Work continues at a pace, and in a week of miserable weather it has lifted our spirits to see how it is all starting to come together , we can really see the Post Office in particular emerge. The lighting work is galloping along too and the church is looking spectacular with new lights illuminating the beautiful ceiling. Now the preparations and excavations have taken place work will begin next week to build the external ramp for disabled access.
We’ve recruited some of our staff and taken a few interesting twists and turns in what we will be stocking in our retail area which we are very pleased about, more on that another time. Hullabaloo, the children’s soft play, has a date set for installation and the design and logo are looking great!
We’ve finally decided on café lighting over our seating area, our beautiful sofas have started to arrive to go with the lonely cushion that turned up weeks ago and we are looking carefully at our coffee supplier. We know how important this is, so plan to have a small tasting session with some of you locals who have a specific interest in the caffeine side of things! Watch this space on that one.
Our hearts are pounding daily, as July approaches fast, and still so much to do but this is a real labour of love and we want it to be the best it possibly can be, something West Hampstead can be proud of, so we’ll crack on!

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Latest

The work within the church is going extremely well and still on schedule. Week by week we’re starting to see the plans that we’ve been looking at for months now coming alive before our very eyes! It’s exciting.
We’re into a full on recruitment drive too, looking for staff to work within the Post Office, café and our soft play area, Hullabaloo. Closing dates are 20th May so please chivvy along anyone who might be interested.
The all important coffee machine and other equipment for the café has been ordered, we’re debating over lighting, the first of the furniture has been ordered and we have taken delivery of two cushions!! Still a long way to go!
Some great pictures being tweeted by Father Andrew, you can really see how things are changing. This bird’s eye view is fantastic.

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Cafe staff please!

We are now in our second wave of recruitment and are looking for staff for our café called The Sanctuary. We need an experienced and enthusiastic café manager and a switched on and helpful café assistant.
If you are interested please email sheriffcentrenw6@gmail.com for an application pack. The closing date for completed applications is Tuesday 13th May.

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An update on our plans..

It’s been a while now since we first started this blog and show cased our initial plans for the Post Office to be located in the church. Since then the project has developed and come to life and we thought we should explain a little bit more about how it will function, as it is such a unique undertaking with a mix of commercial and charitable activities.

St James Church will be host to the organisation known as The Sheriff Centre, essentially the parent company. The services and activities within the church will be known collectively as The Sheriff Centre but will be individual businesses. The raison d’etre is of course the Post Office, and this will operate as a normal branch would with a manager and counter staff, offering all of the usual services and products you would associate with the Post Office. To accompany this will be a large retail space selling stationary, cards, gifts and wrapping paper. We are carefully sourcing the stock for this space to ensure that our customers have both the everyday essentials and also the option to browse a wider range of tempting items.

The Sheriff Centre will also be home to The Sanctuary Café. The café will serve breakfast to linger over or to go, delicious lunches and snacks. Freshly baked cakes, muffins and pastries, along with great coffee, teas, hot chocolates and numerous other options. We will also have a full children’s menu of healthy and nutritious food that looks fun and inviting. The café will have a range of seating options with under floor heating to keep you cosy, sofa’s to relax into, space to work and great Wi-Fi, of course.

So far you may know all of this; however, the new kid on the block is …..Hullabaloo. This is an exciting soft play activity experience for children. It will be a burst of colour, a multi-layer, squishy, wriggly, riot of fun. We are still finalising the design but we can say it’s going to be amazing! Some of the features will be, not one, but two slides, a look out to spy on parents in the café, crawl tubes, touch screen games and an area dedicated to the really little ones so they can still safely have a romp about. We will have a worker stationed at the entrance making sure the play all stays safe, so whilst you can’t’ escape the building you can happily keep one eye on the mayhem from a safe distance in the café! Sessions will be very competitively priced and will be timed throughout the day to allow some peace and quiet for those using the building not with wee ones. Hullabaloo will be available to hire for parties and events on evenings and weekends.

We also plan to hold regular pop up and one off events throughout the year, for example, Christmas fairs, candle light supper clubs.

All of the above are the commercial aspects of the project, they are registered companies and will be run to ensure the best possible customer experience and long term sustainability of the entire Sheriff Centre.

The charitable aspect comes in the form of the charity also called The Sheriff Centre, charity number 1155848. This has been set up to provide services within the community, such as family support, debt advice and youth work and will receive funding from the commercial activities within the church. Whilst the charity has been set up and registered, services will commence in the autumn.

The church is granting leases to the business based in the church and to the charity in order for them to operate in its premises, but it will be the centre manager and company directors who will run and develop the centre. The church will still be open for daily worship and Sunday services.

So there you have it, we are working very hard to create something really special for West Hampstead, to not only retain the Post Office which we all rely on to some greater or lesser extent, but to give you lots of different reasons to come and visit us and add something extra to this already fantastic neighbourhood.

If you have any specific questions, suggestions or would just like to get in touch, we would love to hear from you.

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