New centre to bring back a ‘sense of community’
TWO women have given up their jobs to help set up a community café and education centre in Stapleford.
Jenny Salt and Tracey Marvin have been working on the Meeting Place in Nottingham Road which is set to open its doors on Friday– and the pair are hoping it becomes a focal point for the town.
The former fitness centre and gym has been refurbished at the cost of £10,000. It will include a café, which will be staffed by volunteers, and a space which can be used for toddler groups and education classes.
Mrs Marvin, 47, of Sandiacre, said: “Stapleford seems to have lost its sense of community over the years – people used to know each other and all say hello, but that seems to have changed.
“We want to change that back by creating somewhere that people can come together – I believe Stapleford has a strong community spirit, but we don’t always see that.
“We already have toddler groups set up to use the place, as well as lessons in sign language, and we want as many people to use the centre as possible.”
She added that the plans for a community centre in the town had been in the offing for a couple of years.
Mrs Marvin added: “We started off a couple of years ago running a centre in Washington Drive and a church hall at St Helen’s Church in Frederick Road. But we wanted somewhere closer to the town centre – a place for people in Stapleford to meet, have a cup of tea, or learn a new skill.”
The Mayor of Stapleford Amanda Hull is set to open the centre at 11am.
People living in the town have welcomed the news.
Richard MacRae, of Ilkeston Road, said: “The Meeting Place will be a real asset to Stapleford. The name sums up exactly what it aims to achieve.
“It’s going to bring together lots of people from different parts of the community – they say it’s for people aged nought to 99 because there will be activities for people of various ages so hopefully it will encourage different age groups to mix with each other.
“Since the police station is moving in there it should bring them right to the heart of the community too.
“What Tracey and Jen have done is inspirational and I hope they get the turnout they deserve on Friday.”
By Alexander Britton and Oscar Williams(Nottingham Evening Post).
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