Some very disappointing if not totally unexpected news this week. The popular Oasis Centre in the middle of Gunnislake is going to close at the end of this month. Set up by the Calstock Development Trust the Oasis Centre has acted as a place where people could acquire computer skills, gain help in preparing CVs and get assistance in any possible way to find jobs. In earlier years the Trust employed one paid person to run it with voluntary assistance but latterly it has been run entirely by volunteers.
The trustees have been working hard on grant applications but sadly to no avail. The major running costs appear to be the monthly rent, not regarded as excessive, and the broadband connection. I assume that the computers are paid for. What is so galling then is that whilst the facility is operating in a very minimalist way (there's no central or local government waste here), it can't access what in the great scheme of things would be a small pot of money to keep functioning.
Gunnislake is a substantial village and is in fact the largest settlement in Calstock Parish. The population of the latter was 6095 at the time of the 2001 census and would be more now. I point this out just to indicate that Gunnislake is a bit more than a large hamlet, much more in fact.
Bill and the other volunteers have done a sterling job keeping the Centre open for so long when they could easily have thrown in the towel months ago. It is such a crying shame that they have come to the end of the road on this after all the effort that has been made. We should be grateful for what they have done.