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Enhancing the Mind and Body of the Pavilion, Chichester

Two years on from opening the doors of the Pavilion, CCDT are enhancing the body and mind of the community building that has was built to care for the mental and physical wellbeing of the whole community.  Designed with a fitness studio, five therapy rooms and a community café, the building has seen such high levels of need across all of its facets that the team are now working to expand the provision that can be offered within it.

Working as a social enterprise, in a similar model to all other CCDT buildings, The Pavilion was modelled on a structure that would provide affordable spaces for independent practitioners to deliver fitness and wellbeing classes; and talking or physical therapies to those in need, both locally and further afield .  Alongside that, sits the beautiful community café that enables users of the wellbeing spaces, along with the wider community to have a space that creates a sense of wellbeing through its natural surroundings, with its park-side location.

The café first emerged as the result of CCDT’s coffee cart services modelled on the Swedish concept of ‘FIKA’ during lockdown – a moment to pause, connect with others, and enjoy a fine coffee with something sweet in a time of chaos.  Initially staffed largely by volunteers out of the then derelict doors of the Pavilion prior to its renovation, it regenerated both those drinking and serving the coffee – giving purpose to the connection at a time of huge isolation as we endured the pandemic.

Sometime later, following a stunning redevelopment of the ex-sales office, with the unique additions including the living wall, the café became a space to nurture talent with multiple Kickstart placements and additional volunteer opportunities.  Becoming a space many came to rely on as part of their dog walks, meeting with friends or family or enjoying treatment it has become a valued space to be for all.

CCDT is excited to now see the café develop further, expanding the provision of healthy eating options with greater ranges of options for all dietary requirements including gluten and dairy free.  To achieve this enhanced range of services CCDT has taken the decision to lease the café space out to Richard and Clare Simpson, whose experience in hospitality and business is extensive, whilst also committing to keeping the needs of the community at their heart. Richard and Clare’s knowledge and understanding of the catering industry will ensure that the space continues to grow from strength to strength.  Their café will work in total collaboration with CCDT’s continued management of the wellbeing spaces, providing a combined space that will continue to care for the whole community for years to come.

Central to all aspects of the café and wellbeing spaces is CCDT’s commitment to re-invest surplus revenue into the provision of free hire to those providing essential support to vulnerable communities. Support is also provided to new startups, with discounted initial rates, marketing and general advice to support the growth of the wellbeing sector. Throughout the last year this has included

  • Discounted studio hire for up to 3 months
  • Promoting practitioners online, on SM, throughout CCDT and via monthly newsletter
  • 2 taster days with a range of free offers
  • weekly sessions delivered by the NHS falls prevention team
  • weekly post-natal support sessions
  • all practitioners that work with us will offer their own concessions on an individual basis
  • weekly Discover Your Future Youth sessions
  • monthly wellbeing talks on a range of topics
  • weekly meditation & group talk (from June 23)

The structure of the building – its body – is also undergoing some improvements.  Such has been the demand to provide vital services to the community, supporting their mental and physical health that CCDT is developing a new therapy room.  With two existing therapy rooms already delivering full time support to individuals including women’s health clinics, psychotherapy, massage & sport therapies, the space previously used as the ‘chill out room’ is soon to be converted into full time service as a sixth therapy room. This will sit alongside two current smaller therapy and 1 large room that remain available to hire by the hour or half day ensuring that provision can be made on a more flexible basis for services where that is necessary.

Such improvements clearly take a little time, and as such CCDT will be temporarily closing the doors of the Pavilion for two weeks in August to enable essential construction works to be carried out and enable Richard and Clare to integrate their exciting new touches to this much-loved space.  The doors will close early August and reopen mid August (specific dates still to be confirmed) with an enhanced café offering, additional therapy room, and glass door leading into the therapy room corridor to afford users further comfort and calm in their environment.  Volunteers working within the Pavilion have been invited to transfer to working in the café of the Chapel, ensuring that opportunities continue and training is offered to those in search of new potential career pathways.

CCDT’s commitment to the mental and physical wellbeing of the community remains at the heart of The Pavilion.  Hire charges are affordable and accessible, with the option to waive them entirely to support those facing deprivation and those starting up or going through a challenging time with their business.  The range of classes and therapies are incorporated to ensure provision is made for all demographics, levels of experience and to meet the needs of as many individuals as possible, creating a holistic approach to wellbeing. The café is designed to nurture the spirit of those living in and around the site, and that will continue under the new management, and will grow and enhance its delivery.

The future of this space is exciting and, as with the wellbeing of each of us, requires an investment of time and resources to ensure that it continues to develop ever better health.