A MUCH-LOVED Evesham community centre is opening its doors to the public in the latest bid to raise the £170,000 needed to return the historic venue to its former glory.
The team at Wallace House Community Centre on Oak Street are inviting people to an open day tomorrow (Saturday) as it continues to collect the cash needed to improve the exterior and interior of the centre.
The event will host live music, a Christmas fayre, hot and cold food, martial arts, table tennis and drama and music workshops, along with an array of information and advice on how residents can get involved in funding the bold project.
The centre has been at the heart of the town’s community since 1947 when it was gifted to residents by Samuel Wallace Smedley, as a way to give something back to the people of Evesham after his business of selling local produce flourished.
Mr Smedley also gave the sum of £10,000 to the town’s Mayor to be used on the community, and a trust was set up to provide a facility for recreational, social, educational and sporting opportunities, with particular emphasis on young people.
In 1990 responsibilities for the administration of the trust were handed from Hereford and Worcestershire County Council to Evesham Town Council, who are the current trustees and have the responsibility of making sure Wallace House Community Centre continues to offer the services for which it was set up.
Over the years Wallace House has brought people of all ages and abilities together, forging new friendships and creating memories, through sporting events, creative activities and inspiring projects.
Lynda Huggan, centre manager said: “I’ve seen a succession of changes within our community and Wallace House has managed to keep up with those changing needs, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching many groups start and become successful.
“Wallace House is currently home to a vast range of clubs with a diverse range of activities on offer for all age groups.”
Coun Robert Raphael, chairman of the management committee said: “The vision for the future is one of modern technology, openness and accessibility.
“We must carry the legacy of Samuel Wallace Smedley into the next decade, whilst continuing to provide a welcoming community centre for the people of Evesham.”
Organiser Fran Webb said: “We hope the people of Evesham will show they are behind this project and come along tomorrow to show support for their community centre.”
The event runs from 11am to 3pm.
Call Fran Webb on 07801983112 for more information.