About us, who we are, what we do

About Us

The Balmoral Centre has completed its £250,000 refurbishment programme and now offers superb accommodation.  It boasts a bright, airy first floor main Hallseating circa 150 with full width stage with new lighting system, changing rooms, new kitchen, dimmable wall lighting, and served by a lift.  The contemporary kitchen has an electric roller shutter to afford instant access to the serving counter for users of the Hall.  There is the facility for an occasional bar separate from the kitchen itself, a wireless voice amplification system with both hands-free and handheld microphones, and a drop-down projection screen on the stage.

main hall for hireThe Centre also offers two separate ground floor meeting rooms, tastefully decorated with new carpets, curtains and chairs, served by a separate kitchen and DDA-compliant toilet facilities.  These rooms enjoy a separate entrance from the main Hall, so are not affected by activities taking place there.  The larger meeting room is the Lounge, with a beautiful bright aspect enhanced by a fully glazed wall incorporating French doors, and has a roller shutter to the new kitchen which serves both rooms.  The St Paul’s Roomlounge room for hire is more private, with higher level windows, and contains a conference table which can be configured into several designs.  It is particularly suitable for smaller meetings which require a discreet, comfortable ambience, and for training/lectures.

 The main Hall and the two meeting rooms offer an attractive environment and are suitable for all types of activities – private and public meetings, outreach work, courses, drop-in surgeries, clubs, societies and organisations’ meetings, AGMs etc – as well as family celebrations and all the usual community events.

The Centre also boasts its own private garden, which is fully enclosed, offering valuable extra outdoor space for suitable fine weather events.  There are two useful gazebos which can be quickly erected when required.  This is a charming, safe and secure area for children’s parties (perfect for that essential bouncy castle!), barbecues and al fresco picnics.

There is a smart new car park, offering at least 16 parking spaces (half of which are under cover), including a disabled space, and plenty of on-street parking.  In the event of evening and weekend hirers requiring a significant number of parking spaces, arrangements are made by the Centre to use the large car park of the adjoining school.

The Centre is truly accessible, conveniently situated in Salisbury Avenue, Westcliff-on-Sea, just off the main A13 London Road, with its excellent public transport links; a short distance from both Westcliff and Southend Victoria rail stations and a short walk from Southend town centre. 

Hiring rates are modest for these exceptional facilities, and usually charged hourly depending on time of day required.  For further details or to book call the Centre Manager on 01702 351030 or email office@balmoralcentre.com.

The Balmoral Centre is run by volunteers from the local community entirely for the benefit of the local community; a non-profit making charity dedicated to the improvement of the wellbeing of the whole community.  Your support is welcomed and much appreciated.

The Balmoral Centre is run entirely by volunteers with a passion to improve the wellbeing of the community in which we live.

We provide wonderful facilities suitable for many different kinds of use, as well as working in partnership with other local agencies, such as Milton Hall Primary School, to improve the health outcomes of local children, and the Summercourt Children’s Centre, with whom we are offering a course of friendly classes in numeracy and literacy for parents with young children, who require crèche facilities.

If there is an activity or event that you would like to see at the Centre, let us know, and we will see what we can do.  Perhaps that idea of yours would be very popular!  We seek to be proactive when it comes to community engagement, and if there is an unmet need in our local community, we intend that the Balmoral Centre should meet it.

Better still, why not offer your services as a volunteer?  We always welcome offers of help, and are particularly interested in hearing from dynamic retired or semi-retired professional people with years of life experience behind them and years of enthusiastic and energetic volunteering ahead of them.  We really do want the benefit of your experience!  Our Centre Manager would love to discuss possibilities with you.  Please feel free to make contact for a no-strings chat … maybe even a coffee, if you’re lucky!

We are fully committed to reaching out to the whole community.  Everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome at the Balmoral Centre.  Please visit us soon.

The Street Tough Challenge engages local children fighting obesity and inactivity, promoting the recognition and adoption of healthy lifestyles, and respect for each other and for society – all this while having non-stop fun and a meal with friends!  This innovative project has run at the Balmoral Centre since 2007 and is hugely popular.

The Balmoral Centre recognised the gap in the provision of healthcare by the local NHS Primary Care Trust in that the health needs of younger people in our area were not being addressed in the light of a report indicating that the current generation will be the first to die before its parents.  We were shocked, reasoning that as a society we are sleepwalking into a minefield.  We were also struck by the evident poverty, lack of nutritional awareness, absence of positive male role models in many local families, and lack of recognition of boundaries and respect amongst young children.

Our initiative sought to bring young people together in a fun and energetic environment quite unlike school – in fact more like a weekly party – where they are exposed to vigorous cardiac exercise, nutritional education, healthy hot meal choices, first class male role models, taught to recognise and adopt healthy lifestyle choices concerning exercise, smoking, drugs, alcohol and all forms of substance abuse; and where self-confidence, self-esteem, self-defence, team-building and leadership skills are all promoted.

Strewet tough activity photoWe issue a free club uniform after each child has demonstrated commitment to the project, and encourage families to show respect by donating towards costs according to their self-assessed ability.  We do not make a fixed charge, for no child should miss out because of inability to pay a fee, but the sessions cost the Centre in excess of £10 per child per session.  All the background work is done by volunteers, but we have to pay for our professional instructors, and for the food and uniforms.  Some of the children have never belonged to anything like a club before, and are immensely proud to show their association with Street Tough by wearing our uniform.  It is also very practical for the kick-boxing element of our self-defence program.  We are kindly given a discount on our polo shirts by Morbec Sports; and the smart jackets and trousers are a generous gift from Westcliff Rotary Club.  We are extremely grateful for this help. 

Fitness professional Jez Mancer, a former ski instructor, co-founder of Benfleet Running Club’s junior section, brings us his vast experience as a personal trainer, dedicated athlete and marathon runner, inspiring the children with fun games incorporating elements of nutritional and physiological education while burning up calories for a terrific action-packed hour.  Jez is like a talented, supportive big brother, whose enthusiasm for fitness proves infectious.  Exercise is fun, and is for life!

Our martial arts instructor is Pat O’Keeffe, a multi-disciplined martial artist of the highest qualifications and experience, an ex-Army PTI, 30 years’ service with the London Fire Service reaching the rank of Station Commander, author of kickboxing text books as well as popular fiction, and teacher of all forms of martial arts and self-defence.  He runs ‘boot camp’ style sessions, which the children absolutely love and to which they respond with appropriate enthusiasm.  The discipline encourages self-confidence, and his very positive strong and respectful male role model inspires the children to levels of concentration and focus that many parents have commented upon.  He teaches a full program of self-awareness and keeping safe.

We provide each child with fresh fruit at the end of each session, and encourage them to takestreet tough activity photograph pieces of fruit for younger siblings.  We have had children who did not even recognise common fruits such as strawberries and pineapple, and we know from experience that in some families this is likely to be the children’s only exposure to fruit.  When finances permit, we also give the children breakfast cereals to take home, to encourage the sharing of breakfast at home.

Many parents and schools have reported greatly improved attention spans amongst our children; increased self-confidence; the emergence of leadership skills; willingness to try foods previously unknown to them or refused; better sibling relationships; increased levels of energy and fitness; vastly improved sleeping patterns; improved table manners and ability to socialise over food with family members and friends.

We are immensely proud of the fact that Street Tough was cited in a presentation to the Department of Health as the best example in the country of a local initiative by volunteers to tackle childhood obesity and inactivity in their area, at a time when the Department of Health was devising the Change 4 Life program.  We led; they followed.


Sorry, Street Tough is not accepting new members.  However, information about hugely EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS is available from the Centre Manager on 01702 351030 or email to office@balmoralcentre.com !

Our grateful thanks to:

Linda Massarin, Catering Manager, Milton Hall School (for the hugely popular healthy food!)
Rob Lawrence of Morbec Sports (for the club shirts)
Rotary Club of Westcliff (for the club uniform jackets and trousers, and ongoing support)
Volunteers from the Balmoral Centre Management Committee
Essex Police PCSOs, for their enthusiastic support of the project and mentoring of the children

Street Dance comes to the Balmoral Centre!

To complement the Street Tough Challenge 2011 we were delighted to welcome Street Dance to the Balmoral Centre, with ace choreographer Kinner Patel and dance teachers from Just Imagine! 

Kinner’s Dance has become such a popular feature on the Balmoral calendar that it is no longer linked to the Street Tough Challenge and can be enjoyed by everyone. 

All forms of Urban Dance – Street Dance, Breakdance, Hip-Hop and lots more!

Open to all young people aged 8-18 years.  Thursdays 7:15-8:15 pm, and Sundays 3-4 pm.

For further information and details of session charges payable, contact Kinner Patel on 07980 297036. 



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  • Testimonial

    In appreciation of our efforts.

    Thank you for inviting us to tender for these works, it does not seem like 5 years ago since we first discussed the ambitious plans you had for the centre, with its draughty windows and poor heating system. I’m glad we became involved, being a local company and having two directors of the company born within 500 yards of the centre we are all pleased with the tremendous efforts you and your team have put in. Anything that is done to enhance the well being of the community as a whole can only be highly commended. On behalf of me and my staff we wish you and your team all the best in the coming years.

    Yours faithfully,
    Kieran Lucas - Director
    Kieran Lucas Contractors Limited www.klcltd.net