History of ARCH

The information for this history was supplied by Frances Wheatley (former Secretary of ARCH).

Brief history of ARCH.

The concept of ARCH was triggered by a Christmas Fair in Adastral Square in 2014, organised from “The Coffee House”. The idea of an organisation began to grow and Frances Wheatley and people from the Poole Well-being Collaborative together organised an Easter Festival in 2015.   The mutual support and promotion witnessed at that community function, followed by more informal meetings, persuaded Frances to call a meeting of interested groups and residents in May 2015.

Thus ARCH was formed, the name symbolising a kind of bridge between the areas of the heath. Then the Community Development Manager had the idea of celebrating 50 years as a Canford Heath Community. In September 2015 a hugely successful “Canford Heath 50” event was held at the Haymoor Junior School.

Subsequently an ARCH Facebook page was set up, which is @canfordheath50. This is now updated and maintained.   On it there are many interesting and historic images.

In these initial stages, the advice and support given by the Community Development Manager and the Well-being Collaborative were immense and crucial to the development of ARCH.

In November 2015, the core Committee of Chair (Hayley Hills), Secretary (Frances Wheatley), and Treasurer (David Darling) was elected and David is still in post. A bank account was opened and, at Christmas 2015 another Christmas Fair was held.

In June 2016, the Canford Heath Community Centre was the venue for a Community Fair, which was another encouraging social event. The ARCH logo was produced, based on a design resulting from a childrens’ competition.

In June 2016, Sasha Morgan became Vice-Chair and Publicity Officer.  An e-mail address was set up(canfordheatharch@gmail.com) which connects to the Secretary. Other social, promotional, networking and fundraising events have been held and more are planned. Having two local Councillors involved has given ARCH a voice and keeps ARCH members informed of local matters.    A website was created and went public in February 2017.   This is found via canfordheatharch.org   David Little agreed to edit the site.

In January 2018 Hayley Hills stepped down from being Chair and Sasha Morgan took over.   Hannah Porter was elected as Vice-Chair.

On October 3rd. 2018 the new ARCH Network met for the first time with a view to increasing the cooperation and networking between all the ARCH organisations.   Also, the intention is to gradually improve the visibility of ARCH in the Canford Heath area via a range of media.  To that end, a leaflet drop to all 7,500 Canford Heath properties was organised.   The double-sided A5 document was designed in a collaboration between ARCH and the local Neighbourhood Watch (CHNW).   David Little and CHNW provided funding for the printing, and the estate agents Palmer Snell facilitated distribution starting at the beginning of April 2019.   At the same time a leaflet advertising the “Canford Heath FEST 2019” was also delivered.  Subsequently, on May 19th. 2019, stalls and many entertainments were set up on the Haymoor School field.  Between 11 am. and 4 pm. over 2000 people attended and, in spite of a “monsoon” about 2 pm., the show went on – only indoors !   As a community event it was a huge social and financial success.   Thanks to Julie and her organising committee.

A similar “Fest” was planned to coincide with the 75th. anniversary of VE Day on May 8th. 2020 which by coincidence the Government had decided would be the “Spring Bank Holiday” !   Due to the onset of the world pandemic of the novel Coronavirus Covid-19, this celebration had to be cancelled- along with all the normal, regular Canford Heath activities being suspended.   To date (25/03/20), there is no end in sight.  The “stay at home” edict from the Government yesterday will “be reviewed in three weeks”, but most sporting and other public activities are suspended for much longer, e.g. currently no Athletics face-to-face coaching or competition in England until at least May 31.   The only “church services” being permitted – in very small scale – are funerals !

By giving residents information in various ways, ARCH hopes to enhance their quality of life and highlight activities available, to promote the mutual support thereby achieved.

Feb. 2017.   (Updated May 2018,  April 2019, March 2020)

NOTE:  A more detailed and illustrated version of this History is available.