Swindon Mayor Rex Barnett officially reopened Freshbrook Community Centre recently, saying, “everyone has worked together so well to re-open this brilliant centre. I’m so glad that the volunteers and the council have put the building back at the centre of the community.”
The grand relaunch took place at a summer fete attended by over 200 people, the finale to a week of special taster sessions and information about groups at the centre.
Mother of two under-five year olds Lisa Clark, from Grange Park, said, “we’ve been to everything so far, the circus skills, baby signing, Debutots, the playgroup – it’s been really lovely. It’s the first time we’ve used the centre and we love it. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming. The girls have had a great time, we’ve been busy all week, and we’ll definitely be back.”
Community Centre chairwoman Stephanie Bird was delighted with the week, “all the groups were really busy; it was good to see lots of new faces and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback.
“When it closed in September, it really made the community think about whether the centre was important. There was a fantastic response - people have worked hard to put life back into the building. We’ve had a lot of help from local organisations, councillors and council officers, and thanks to the hard work and dedication of committee members the centre has taken off far quicker than even we expected - we now have groups running every weekday evening and are getting weekend bookings.
“We would really love to open the cafe regularly but need someone to run it, and volunteers to help out. We would also like to see a drama group start.”
Groups meeting at the centre include Sullivan School of Dance, Raleigh dog club, Playmates toddler group, Shamrock School of Dance, and Alpha pre-school.
Other new activities include line dancing, judo and the Phoenix Toy Library. It is hoped a Kidz Club will soon begin and Baby Sensory have provisionally booked from January.
Treasurer Nicky Howard said, “there’s now a much stronger sense of community in the area generally. The fete was fantastic because it brought new and old friends together.”
New Youth Club starts at Freshbrook
A weekly youth club opens at Freshbrook Community Centre on Wednesday 22 September, 6.15pm to 8.45pm. The group has been made possible by £200 raised by Sarah Luscombe at the overnight Walkley Walk organised by Swindon Rotary Club. For details about the club, or becoming a volunteer youth worker, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Judo players wanted
1st Dan Black Belt Elizabeth Gurhy launches the Freshbrook Judo Academy on Saturday 11 September, 10.30am to 12noon. The club will cater for 4 to 8 year olds, 8 to 16s and over 16s. For details call Elizabeth on 321278, or mail: email@example.com
To contact the centre about booking a room call 870526.
Looking back to 1983, the mayor of Swindon Jim Masters cuts the first sod to start work on building Freshbrook Community Centre