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.