A centre of real attraction

ONE YEAR AGO: Karen Beech, Broadfield Community Association (BCA) resident; Trudy Holland, South Ribble Borough Council's young volunteer of the year;  Nadine Sumner, BCA resident; Chris Kushner, from Progress Housing Group; and Coun Michael Titherington
ONE YEAR AGO: Karen Beech, Broadfield Community Association (BCA) resident; Trudy Holland, South Ribble Borough Council's young volunteer of the year; Nadine Sumner, BCA resident; Chris Kushner, from Progress Housing Group; and Coun Michael Titherington

“It has been a very successful year, but 12 months isn’t a long time to try out our all of our ideas – we still have more to give.”

The Broadfield Base community centre, off Bannister Drive, has been open for a year this week, and its members have already done a lot of great things to help the community.

Kids’ club, a youth club and regular family coffee mornings form the basis of the centre’s success, and there was also plenty of special seasonal events taking place there in the last year too.

Beth Blenkinship, community development officer for the Leyland Project, which also runs the Place in Royal Avenue and the Springfields Family Support Centre on Seven Stars Road, said: “The highlights of the last 12 months have definitely been the youth activities.

“We have a core kids’s club based around arts and crafts, and we also have a football table and a laptop to play with.

“The youth club has about 20 people now, and is more of an informal drop-in session where teenagers can chat to youth workers.

“We ran a big summer programme with sports and a family fun day, as well as a Queen’s Jubilee party, an Easter Egg hunt and a Christmas party.”

She added: “It has been trial and error at times, and we’ve dropped some of the initiatives which weren’t as popular.

“But it’s been a really good first year, and we’ve built up some good relationships in the community.”

Plans for this year include more drama and dance activities, and a new ‘community market place’ where families can drop in to speak to different organisations, including the police, Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the council and New Progress Housing.

Beth said: “Some of the feedback we’ve been getting is that people find it hard to get to these organisations, so we’re bringing them all into the estate.

“We’re hoping to run this around four times a year.

“We’re also excited for the next 12 months because we have just secured some extra funding.

“That means we can spruce up the centre with some artwork and make it look a bit more homely, and we’re also able to buy a TV and a couple of laptops.

“We want to start running a cyber cafe for adults once that’s all set up, and teach people how to use computers if that’s something they’re interested in.”

The group will be holding a special belated birthday party for the Base on January 26 between noon and 3pm.