Downside Community Centre
& the Community Café

About Pan Together

Pan Together is a small local charity which exists to support and provide a community hub for the residents of East Newport, Isle of Wight.  We are a membership-based organisation, where members have a say and a vote on what we do. Up to eight charity trustees are elected to provide a strategic overview for the charity.  We employ a full-time Community Centre Manager and two part-time café staff.

Registered as a charity in January 2018, we began as a community centre in 2007 and operated for many years from a portacabin.  In 2016, we re-located to a purpose-built community centre (acquired via local authority funding due to the impact of a large housing development nearby).  This comprises:

  •  a community café which provides freshly-prepared wholesome food at affordable prices whilst also acting as a social hub for the neighbourhood;
  •  an IT learning suite with free Wi-fi and eight computer stations;
  •  two community rooms;
  •  a training kitchen with six fully-functioning work stations (including one accessible for wheelchair users); and
  •  an outside area for growing produce.

The centre is at the heart of Pan in East Newport which – according to September 2019’s Indices of Deprivation – is the most disadvantaged area on the Isle of Wight and ranked at 5.8% in England’s most deprived neighbourhoods.

In March 2023, Island-based Utility Films released a short film – To The Bone – about Pan Together’s work, particularly in relation to its community support and anti-poverty services. Visit

Mission & Values

Our formal charitable objects are “to further or benefit the residents of East Newport and the surrounding area, without distinction of sex, sexual orientation, race or of political, religious or opinions by associating together the said residents and the local authorities, voluntary and other organisation in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation with the objective of improving the conditions of life for the residents”.

Many people in our community face multiple challenges and a significant proportion of local residents are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalised people in society.

In February 2019, Pan Together’s trustees were successful in receiving substantial grant funding from the National Lottery Community Fund.  Working with a range of partners, their vision is to develop the already vibrant centre’s role at the heart of the community to new levels and to focus 100% on its development as a community hub to further support more and different local residents of all ages and abilities.

Photo shows, left to right:  Rachel Thomson (Community Centre Manager), Cllr Geoff Brodie (Hon. Treasurer) and Laura Byrne (Chair of the trustees).

Our registered charity number is 1176740. 

We are also a charitable incorporated organisation, registered in England:  CE012974. 

Pan Together is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. For a copy of our safeguarding policy, please email       





We provide:

  • vital signposting and triage support for local people needing help and advice as well as helping to avert social isolation;
  • free weekly courses in Maths, English and IT plus many other courses and support to help people back into employment (in partnership with Adult Community Learning);
  • volunteering opportunities and work experience;
  • cooking activities for looked after children and care leavers (in partnership with Children’s Services); for young carers (via the YMCA); and for young people from across the Isle of Wight who are at risk of taking part in offending and/or violent and/or anti-social behaviour; and
  • a monthly bingo night in the cafe.

As part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June 2022, Pan Together was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS).  This is the highest award a voluntary organisation can receive in the UK and is the organisational equivalent of an MBE.

In December 2022, the charity received a High Sheriff’s Award in recognition of ‘great and valuable services to the community’ from Kay Marriott (left below).

On 31st March 2023, Pan Together received a Gold Award and was named People-focused Project of the Year at the first Vectis Radio Isle of Wight Community Awards (below).

Every Wednesday from 9 am until 3 pm, there are free drop-in sessions in the IT room for people wanting to brush up their skills and/or get help with their CV and/or are thinking about returning to work after a break.  No booking is required and if you’re interested, just pop along.

We work closely with:

  • Barnado’s which runs the Family Centre next door;
  • the Island Learning Centre which provides specialist alternative educational provision for particularly vulnerable young people;
  • St George’s School for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities;
  • Barton Primary School which is adjacent to the community centre;
  • the Isle of Wight College’s supported internship programme;
  • Sovereign Housing Association which funds a number of courses at the centre for adults and children/young people alike;
  • the Island’s Youth Offending Team who use the centre as a venue for parenting group sessions and restorative justice programmes;
  • Children’s Services for their resilience-building service for primary-aged children who have faced adverse childhood experiences;
  • Newport & Carisbrooke Community Council; and
  • with the local Isle of Wight Councillor, Cllr Geoff Brodie – who is one of our trustees.

In May 2022, the community centre was visited by the then Earl and Countess of Wessex – Prince Edward and Sophie (now Their Royal Hignesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh) – accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Susie Sheldon, in recognition of Pan Together’s invaluable work in the community, particularly during the pandemic.

Open since November 2022, we now run the Pan Community Larder twice a week for residents of Pan, Pan Meadows, Barton and Fairlee.  Membership is free and the larder is open every Tuesday and Friday from 12 noon to 2 pm.

Larder visitors pay £5 per weekly visit for two carrier bags of fresh, frozen, tinned and dried food and other household essentials which people choose for themselves. If they pick wisely, they receive £20-£30 of goods.

Particular thanks are due to The Isle of Wight Foundation which provided the start-up costs.  We are also extremely grateful to the wide range of organisations, companies and individuals which have helped to fund the community larder’s stock and/or donated goods and/or provide collection points for much-needed donations of non-perishable goods.

Our community larder is becoming increasingly essential to local people when the cost of living crisis is biting so hard for so many.  We urge everyone who lives in our local area to join.

Supporting the Pan community since 2007.

Get Involved

If you would like to get involved in our work or support us in any way, please:


News & Updates

Royal visit to Pan Together on 24th May 2022

Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex visit Isle of Wight | Isle of Wight County Press The Earl and Countess of Wessex being welcomed to Downside Community Centre by children from Barton Primary School. Left to right: Prince Edward, Susie Sheldon (Lord...

Join for FREE!

We are a membership-based organisation, where members have a say and a vote on what we do.  If you want to help us to continue to make a difference, why not become a member too?  It’s free and all you have to do is Contact Us.

Once we’ve received your membership request, you’ll be asked to complete a short form and once this is received you too will be a member of Pan Together – making a real difference to people predominantly within Pan, Pan Meadows and Barton in East Newport.

Upcoming Events

There are bingo nights on the second Thursday of each month from 6.30 pm to 9 pm.  Entrance is 50p; it’s £4.50 per bingo book; and everyone is welcome.

 Every Wednesday from 9am until 3pm, there are free drop-in sessions in the IT room for people wanting to brush up their skills and/or get help with their CV and/or are thinking about returning to work after a break.  No booking is required and if you’re interested, just pop along.

Contact us for further details.

Get in touch