Epsom and Ewell Phab Charity Number: 298452

The facilities that Epsom  and Ewell PHAB needs to have access to

• A property that is in an area that all young people feel safe and are able to travel to.  (Locating the premises in a specific housing estate for example, may restrict membership to that immediate area though PHAB aims to service a much broader community)

• The property;

o has to have basic amenities such as toilets (male, female and disabled) and heating,

o needs to be a truly accessible venue as our young people have a variety of needs (ie. its wider than just wheelchair access).

o have plenty of off road parking and

o be secure with the ability to control access during PHAB meetings.(Some of our members are quite vulnerable and we need to ensure that their carers can easily bring them to PHAB and whilst in our care we can ensure that they don't wander off or interact with unvetted members of the public)   

• Allows PHAB to provide continuity, for example does not have to switch venues between term times and the school holidays or during periods of prolonged maintenance.  (Past experience has demonstrated to us that a lack of continuity has a detrimental impact on club often amongst the members who would benefit most from attending.  This is why we aim to meet every week during the year with only brief breaks at Christmas and Easter).

• Has reasonable access to outside areas throughout the year that are suitably equipped for the members to play a variety of sports such as tennis, football and basketball.  Usage is still popular in the winter months so the areas in question would need to be equipped with floodlights and be properly drained and surfaced.  (Even during the winter we can 20 -30 young people playing outside and in the summer this can easily be 60 - 70.  The ability to offer a variety of sports allows members of all abilities to participate to the benefit of all. )

• An inside area suitably large to hold other sporting activities such as uni hoc, sit down volleyball etc.  (This is vital when it is raining and the members are unable to go outside. It is so important to have the ability to play sports/games that are inclusive of all and are a form of exercise on a weekly basis for many who would not normally have this opportunity –there are  increased health benefits for all especially given the current spotlight on rising obesity levels in children and the impact this has on increased costs for on local NHS services.).  We also use such an area for rehearsing our very popular shows.

• Several additional rooms each capable of allowing up to 20 members to carry out a variety of other activities including art and craft, drama, learning circus skills, playing games or simply talking and socialising.  (We typically have 70+ young people on a club night and have had up to 100.  When planning what we can offer, we have to take into account peak demand so for example at one stage we might have 20 - 30 young people wanting to do art and craft but not so many people wanting to play unihoc.  During the evening this is highly likely to change with perhaps the people doing art and craft going off to play unihoc or doing something completely different such as drama.  It would be very difficult for us to constantly dismantle and then restart activities during the evening if we only had 1 or 2 rooms.  Past experience has shown that when we have been forced to use an alternative site with only one area (such as the Rainbow and Ebbisham centres during periods of maintenance at Lintons) it has been very difficult to run a number of activities in parallel)

• Sufficient storage for the wide range of equipment. This is far too bulky to be transported to a site each evening. (We currently use the equivalent of a garage)

Epsom  and Ewell PHAB’s experience of using alternative venues

In both cases the staff at the centres were great and gave us a great deal of support.  Despite this, we faced the following challenges which would prevent a similar set up being adopted on a regular basis.



Ebisham Centre (main area and some side rooms)


There was no on site storage, which required a lot of equipment to be taken to and from the Ebisham Centre.  Even then, the level of activities held on Friday nights had to be curtailed.


Limited parking making it hard for parents/carers to park and come up to the club.  The knock on effects included making it difficult to hold our regular end of club evening notice sessions when we told all the members and their parents/carers' about future activities.  Also volunteers had to be diverted at the start and at the end of the evenings to help with parking.


There was no secure access from the parking area to where the activities were being held.  This meant that all children had to be escorted by volunteers to/from the parking area.  This was especially difficult at the start of the evening when we are always pushed to have enough volunteers available.


Access to the area we used, from the parking was by a couple of lifts.  These got very crowded at the start and end of the evening when we had to help a large number of disabled children and also equipment


There was no outside area, so making the inside spaces very crowded and noisy.


The internal spaces were too small to play any sport


It was almost impossible to secure the side rooms and so it was hard to stop the members interacting with the occasional member of the public who came by.




Rainbow Centre (part of the sports hall and a couple of the upstairs exercise rooms)


There was no on site storage, which required a lot of equipment to be taken to and from the Rainbow Centre.  Even then, the level of activities held on Friday nights had to be curtailed


The entrance to our area was shared by members of the public so it was difficult to maintain the safety of the children.


There were no dedicated toilet facilities that we could use as they were all open to the general public.  Again this made monitoring difficult.


The exercise rooms were separated from the sports hall area by public areas and so the children had to be escorted from one to the other.  This imposed a lot of rigidity on children who were used to just wandering around at will.


There was no outside area, so making the inside spaces very crowded and noisy.


There weren't enough separate spaces for us to run all our normal activities