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Norwich community centre at risk of closure

PUBLISHED: 06:30 28 October 2010

A community centre is at risk of closure, making nearly a dozen groups homeless, unless more people come forward to help run the venue.

Calls are being made for volunteers to sit on the committee which runs the Harford Community Centre, at Peterkin Road, in Tuckswood, Norwich.

The Norwich City Council-owned centre is home to a wide range of groups, including aerobics classes, line dancing, children’s groups, indoor and outdoor bowls and a tea dance group which has been there for about 25 years. It is also well used for children’s parties, celebrations and wedding receptions.

The centre’s committee has dwindled in numbers from eight to just three. They will hold their annual general meeting next month and are hoping more people will volunteer to help out.

Chairman Gary Colby confirmed the centre would not be able to run unless more committee members are appointed.

He added: “It’s a lovely centre and has everything there. There’s a gym, changing rooms, showers, toilets, and an outside football pitch with floodlights – we just need more people to come and along and support it.

“The centre is at real risk of closure. If there’s no committee then the centre can’t run and all the user groups will have to find somewhere else to go.”

The South Harford and Tuckswood Community Association will hold its AGM on Monday, November 15 at 7.30pm at the centre.

Committee members would be expected to attend a monthly meeting, but other than that the time restraints are said to be “minimal”. The more people who join the committee, the more they would be able to split jobs to make it less time consuming.

Lynda Thain, who joined the committee two-and-a-half years ago after being part of the line dancing group, said: “There’s no interest. Groups like to come along and use the place, but they have not got the time or inclination to help run it. We are really hoping that people will attend the AGM and that they will come and volunteer.”

As recently reported in the Evening News, a number of community centres across the city are struggling. Five new people recently joined the committee which runs Pilling Park Community Centre after the venue’s future was put in doubt.

Wensum Community Centre in Hotblack Road, off Dereham Road, is also calling out for more user groups.

Are you fighting to save a community resource? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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