Volunteer plea to save community centre

Volunteers and visitors outside Waring Green Community Centre
Volunteers and visitors outside Waring Green Community Centre

Volunteers at a community centre used by thousands of people a week are warning it faces closure unless it receives help from local residents.

Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse, hosts dozens of different groups but its future could be in doubt if new volunteers don’t come forward to assist the committee in running the building.

Centre manager Victoria Fletcher said: “It’s a family-run centre that’s been handed down through the generations and it’d be really upsetting if it had to close.

“We’ve got a lot of members that have been here since they were little.

“We want people to come and get involved. We’re one big, happy family and we need your help.

“We need new blood.”

The building on Garden Road was originally a church but opened as a community centre in 1957.

It currently provides activities and services for various age groups within the community, but is struggling to maintain its presence due to a lack of volunteers.

“We provide a nursery, an out-of-school club, groups that get elderly people out of their homes and into the community,” Miss Fletcher said.

“We cater for all ages but we’ve got nobody to do fundraising events.

“We’ve only got minimal hours and we deal with making sure the place is clean, that the groups who use the centre are okay but we don’t have enough hours in the day.

“We’re running it as well as we can but we need more volunteers and committee members, otherwise we’re looking at closure.

“We’re the only community centre within a two-mile radius.

“We need more volunteers to lend a hand with our groups, general running of the centre and fundraising.

“We are a charity and we have got a few volunteers but we need some younger people to come in and provide some new ideas and help.

“We’re hoping to renew our lease next year but our committee is very sparse.

“We need a lot of committee members because without them we cannot run.”

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker visited the centre with Coun Scott Benton, Conservative councillor for Brighouse, to see the activities that take place.

He said: “It’s a fabulous place and more than 4,000 people a week come through here, which shows how popular it is.

“It’s a huge community asset.

“When I was a councillor in Brighouse I used to come here to watch Highland dancing so there’s a huge diversity of activity that takes place here.

“It’s a popular place and that does require volunteers to help out with it but I’m sure when you have that number of people coming through the doors there’s an opportunity for people to volunteer and give something back into the local community, which is important.”

Coun Benton added: “The Waring Green Centre is a fantastic community building which is used by thousands of people every single week.

“The committee who run the centre do an absolutely fantastic job but they require new volunteers to ensure that the building continues to run smoothly.

“There are a number of positions which need to be filled on the committee and these are open to people with all types of skills and so we would encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch.”