Access and Standards
19 Princelet Street, London E1 6QH
charity no 287279
phone: 020 7247 5352
fax: 020 7375 1490
We are a registered charity (the Spitalfields Centre), set up to preserve and repair 19 Princelet Street and to create therein a centre and museum of immigration for the benefit and education of the public.
This unique site is fragile, and is not at present generally open to the public. The house and synagogue now need much structural work, to prevent further deterioration and to secure the structure so that it can in the future open on a regular basis to the public.
It has been necessary to prop the upper floors, and access - which can only rarely be provided, under stringent conditions - is restricted to the ground floor with occasional access to the basement and gallery. The trustees regret the disappointment, but until the necessary funds have been raised, and works have been completed, the building cannot be open. It is hoped that all parts can be made safe, and that the building can be fully open.
The priority is to raise funds and do the works to the fabric. Nevertheless, the trustees are working to put in place alternative means of access, including public lectures, contributions to radio and tv, and developing the web site. We welcome suggestions, and whenever possible will accept invitations to address interested groups (who will normally make a donation to the charity).
The trustees are committed to equal treatment and equal access to individuals irrespective of race, colour, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, class, sexual orientation, economic status and age; and committed to challenge discrimination and to promote exchange and understanding between people from diverse backgrounds.
We are committed to opening access to individuals whatever their disability, but health and safety requirements now prevent us from offering the full access to people with disabilities that we plan when the building is fully open.
We will publicise any openings, in the local and London press and national press if possible. Admission is normally free, and donations encouraged. Openings will include Sundays and early evenings, to widen opportunities to visit. Special openings may be announced to members of our Friends scheme.
Group visits may sometimes be arranged, and we will always try to accommodate requests. Please see group visits and learning.
Standards of Conduct
We are a charity with no full time staff, and our focus is on raising the substantial funds needed so that in future 19 Princelet Street can be opened to the public. We ask members of the public, and others interested to visit the building, to understand that at present the building is normally closed to the public, and there is no regular worker in the charity's office.
Given the constraints of funding and volunteer time, we are committed to dealing with all enquiries as promptly as possible and in a fair and courteous manner. We cannot always respond quickly, but we do our best to meet the standards set out below. For security reasons we may ask you to give us your name and contact details.
When you write or fax or email:
- We aim to reply within 10 working days of receiving your letter.
When you telephone us:
- We aim to answer calls within six rings.
- We aim to return calls within 10 working days, whenever possible.
- We will answer questions about the work of the charity as fully and helpfully as we can.
- We aim to send details (a copy of this leaflet) about arranging visits within 10 working days of your request.
When you wish to visit
- It is often not possible to arrange a visit, much as we would like to do so. We normally ask you to set out details in writing, and give us a minimum of four weeks notice (though we do sometimes have space at shorter notice). Priority is given to educational and community groups, to non- profit making bodies and to bona fide scholars. We do not make a standard charge, but we normally ask for a donation and will usually ask for this in advance.
When you visit
- Visits will be by appointment and normally only for groups.
- You will not be kept waiting. We will ask you to sign our visitors book, and we will ask you leave bags, umbrellas and so forth in the hallway.
- We do not permit smoking, mobile phone use or photography.
- We ask you for security, health and safety reasons always to follow the instructions of our volunteers, and to take great care in the building.
Courtesy and helpfulness
- We aim to be courteous, helpful and informed. Volunteers will give their names if asked (and please, remember that they may be trainees).
We hope you will enjoy your visit, whether to our web site, to a public lecture or to the building. Sometimes things do go wrong, however hard people are trying to do their best.
if you are unhappy about how you are treated or feel that we have not done something that we promised or done it badly, then we hope that you will tell us. This will help us to improve, and allow us to do our best to put matters right for you.
We hope that in the normal course of events an informal discussion will resolve matters, put things right for you and show you that we are doing what we should to prevent the problem happening again. We will take your comments or complaint seriously.
As a first step, try to resolve matters directly with the person concerned at the time.
Step two if you remain unhappy, or feel that you want to make sure that an officer of the charity is aware of the problem, then ask if one of the advisory board or trustees is available. They will do their best to put things right. If this still does not resolve matters to your satisfaction then you may decide to make a formal complaint.
Step 3 is to make a formal complaint in writing to the chair of trustees, with as much supporting detail and information as you can provide. If you prefer, you may contact the chair of trustees by fax or email.
Please make your complaint within one month of the issue arising. The chair, or another trustee if appropriate, will try to reply quickly and will aim to give you a full reply within 28 days.
Step 4 if you are not satisfied, then you may appeal to the trustees as a whole, in writing. Please do this within a month of the chair, or another trustee, replying to you. The trustees may suggest an independent review, or a review by two or three trustees and advisers.
If you are unhappy with the outcome of that appeal process, then you may wish to contact the Charity Commission ideally by email at www.charitycommission.gov.uk or by letter to
Charity Commission Direct
PO Box 1227