Community centre’s £33,000 fundraising bid

Dorothy Clark outside of the Greatham Village Community Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

Dorothy Clark outside of the Greatham Village Community Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

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A community centre is going back to its roots as it tries to raise £33,000 for the next phase of a major refurbishment project.

Managers of Greatham Community Centre have sent out letters to every home in the parish – more than 600 – to appeal for donations for replacement windows.

The local community was instrumental in the building of the centre when it opened in 1878 as a village school as a result of public subscription.

Dorothy Clark MBE, chairman of Greatham Community Association, which holds the lease for the centre, said: “We are going back to the original source funding, the community, to see if we can get help to replace the windows.

“We have had a lot of repairs done to the roof and have got a brand new heating system and now we are trying to get the windows done.

“They are rotten. We have got a third of the price but they are going to cost £33,000 because we are in a conservation area and they have got to be wood and they are big windows.”

The building has been used by various community groups for people of all ages since 1971.

It continues to be well used today by dance groups, mothers and toddlers, and to stage amateur dramatic group performances and musicians.

A number of users have held fundraising events to raise thousands of pounds for the refurbishment works.

The letter states: “For generations now the centre has been the hub of the parish. To keep the heart of the community beating, we need your support.”

It will be landing on the doormats of every home in Greatham and part of the Fens estate that comes under its parish boundary.

In December, the centre in Front Street re-opened after being closed for several months for £60,000 worth of improvement works to the roof, heating and paintwork.

They included a £47,608 landfill tax grant from the Veolia Environmental Trust.

To support the windows appeal, contact Dorothy Clark on (01429) 970292, Brian Walker on 870281 or email greathamca@gmail.com