The Signal Box Community Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

To ensure that your event goes smoothly we have drawn up a checklist to help you manage your session and to answer any questions you may have.

The centre is managed remotely so it is important that you read through this carefully to familiarise yourself with procedures at the Centre.

The manager or a volunteer can arrange to show you around before the event if required and give a contact number if you have an emergency on the day. Please be aware that they may be away or may be busy so only try to contact them in an emergency such as an alarm sounding, serious accident, fire or if you are unable to access the building. For all emergencies call 999 first. Keep a copy of this with you on the day as it contains all the information you should need. There is also a copy on the notice board in the hallway.

The Centre is a 7-minute walk along the guided busway from Cambridge station and the following buses that stop there: Citi 1, Citi 3, Citi 7, Citi 8, Cambridge Guided bus & a bus linking to the Trumpington Park and Ride car park.

There is no parking allocated to the Centre but there are pay and display bays on the adjacent roads, eight on Clarendon Road and twelve on Shaftsbury Road. These accept cash, cards and parking apps RingGo, Mobon and Just Park. If you display a current blue badge you can park on site, but we ask that you avoid numbered bays where possible as these are allocated to specific properties. The NCP car park at the Cambridge Leisure Park off Cherry Hinton Road is a 10-minute walk away.

The front door key is always kept in the key safe to the right of the front door. The code will be emailed to you following confirmation of your booking. The key is for the top lock and the lock can be stiff. The Centre is fully accessible with hearing loops in both rooms. These have never been used and we’re not sure how to use them, so do let us know if you do! If you have any specific requirements, please let us know in advance.

There are coat hooks in the hall and in each room. In bad weather please ask people to remove any wet clothing and leave in the hall. We take no responsibility for items left in the building.

Fire safety
Please familiarise yourself with the fire procedure for the room you are using. Details are displayed on the notice boards. You are responsible for ensuring that you and those attending your event know the procedure and you, or your nominated representative, is responsible for checking that everyone attending is safely out of the building. Please also call 999 for assistance. Fire extinguishers and a fire blanket are provided to deal with a small fire if you are competent to do so, but never endanger yourself or others if you do not feel confident to do this.

First Aid
There is a first aid box and an accident report book on the kitchen windowsill. Please feel free to use what supplies you want but you are required to make a note of any injury in the book.

Kitchen protocol
The kitchen is equipped with a full range of equipment including sharp objects and can be accessed directly from both rooms. Please ensure that no children under the age of 16 are allowed in the kitchen supervised. Please ensure that all sharp objects are kept out of the reach of children and that all appliances are turned off at the wall when you have finished using them.

You are very welcome to make teas and coffees and use whatever you find in the kitchen that is not labelled. Milk is not provided, but there is plenty of sugar. A range of cutlery and crockery can be found in the cupboards and boxes, including cafetieres, see separate information. We do ask you to bring your own supplies and then remove them when you leave. If you do, for any reason, need to leave food or drinks in the fridge or cupboards they must be labelled with what they are, and the date stored. 

Kitchen Equipment
At the time of writing (February 2023) the kitchen has:

  • 2 dishwashers
  • 1 washing machine
  • 1 full range cooker
  • 40 mugs
  • 40 wine glasses
  • 24 tall glasses
  • 50 glass tumblers (various sizes)
  • 12 plastic tumblers
  • 45 dinner plates
  • 27 side plates
  • 34 small bowls
  • 42 large bowls
  • 5 trays
  • 3 serving sandwich trays
  • 2 large & 1 small cafetiere
  • 3 teapots
  • 1 kettle
  • 1 water urn
  • 2 plastic drinks jugs
  • Some paper plates
  • Metal cutlery
  • Strainer, grater, peeler, rolling pin, knifes

Arrival and leaving
Unless you have made prior arrangements the booking time allows you a maximum of 15 minutes to set up and then 15 minutes at the end of the session to clean and tidy up.

Set up
The centre has plenty of tables and chairs which are lightweight and can be moved between rooms if needed. Two of the tables are height adjustable and there are 12 child size chairs that can be used. We also have flip charts and a white board you can use but again please advise us in advance. We ask that you leave the rooms as you find them. Please do not use glitter as decoration. It is bad for the environment and a nuisance to clean up.

Toilets and baby changing facilities
There are baby changing facilities in both toilets and a separate wheelchair accessible toilet in the middle. Please take your dirty nappies away with you. Please also ensure than nothing other than toilet paper is put down the toilets; this is essential. The last emergency call out caused by wipes cost the centre £280.

Tidiness and decoration
We ask you to keep the centre clean and tidy. Please use the bins provided and if practical to do so take rubbish away with you. Bin liners are provided. If you want to put up any decorations for your event these can only be attached to the large notice boards in the room and the aluminium section of the windows. All decoration must be removed before you leave. The Centre is cleaned on a regular basis but not between bookings during the day. Please be considerate of others using the Centre and leave the rooms, kitchen and toilets in a state that you would expect to find it yourself.

Cleaning supplies
The cleaning cupboard is on the left of the toilets. Code C02587. You will also find additional cleaning products under the sink and paper towels in the cupboard in the Great Western room near the kitchen door. In order to meet environmental regulations, the mops and buckets are coloured coded. If you need to use them, please follow these colours:
Blue = Hallway and meeting rooms
Red = Toilets
Yellow = Kitchen

Smoking and noise outside the Centre
The Centre is in a busy residential area with flats above. You are responsible for ensuring that those attending your event enter and leave the Centre as quietly as possible and that no one smokes within 5 metres of the doors or windows. Please ensure that you are respectful of others and do not let the noise in the event rise to excessive levels. The limit is 75db.

Each room has a separate thermostat. In the Great Western room this is on the wall near the kitchen door. This will be set by a volunteer to come on before your event and go off afterwards. You do not need to adjust it. If for any reason it is not coming on there is a booster button on the white box to the left of the black box that can be pressed. In the smaller Eastern room, the thermostat is to the left of the door that leads out into the hallway and does not have a booster button. An electric convection heater has been left out for emergencies.

Please get in touch if you have any further questions.