Swindon AdvertiserWe turned it around: community centre now thriving (From Swindon Advertiser)

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We turned it around: community centre now thriving

Swindon Advertiser: Walcot Dome chairman Sharon Oldacre and her team, Roy Baker and Stephen Turner-Powell Walcot Dome chairman Sharon Oldacre and her team, Roy Baker and Stephen Turner-Powell

WITH a booming list of bookings and a dedicated committee, it is hard to believe that Buckhurst Park Community Centre was ever in trouble.

The community centre, which was formerly known as the Walcot Dome, was taken over by Swindon Council in 2010 just as the electricity supply was about to be cut off amid rising debts.

But last December, the keys to the community centre were handed to the committee.

Chairman Sharon Oldacre said they are still going strong.

“Our bookings have gone absolutely mad now, they have really boomed. We get a massive amount of party bookings now and I think it’s because our prices are quite cheap,” she said.

“When people come in they are always commenting on how friendly we are towards them and how clean the building is.

“We have some regular bookings in here that were here before, when it was the Walcot Dome, and they have said it is completely different now.”

Sharon took over from the committee’s previous chairman, Patsy Moloney, after he left due to personal reasons in May.

The centre is home to eight groups that have a booking every week, including the Carousel Pre-School and a group for people who have disabilities called Living Options.

Sharon said they have so many bookings that they need to take on more committee members.

“Ideally we would love to have more committee members and volunteers come on board just to help us out more. Our bookings are going up and we need to take more people on,” she said.

The hall is big enough for 120 people, the floor is marked out for netball, badminton and five-a-side football, and there are two meeting rooms and a large kitchen and car park.

She said: “We have started putting out feedback forms so we can get an idea of what people like about the building.

“At the moment everyone is saying how great it is and how much they like us. We just want to carry on seeing more people coming through the door and using it.

“It is important for any community to have a thriving centre and we are asking people to come and use it. We have some great facilities for the people of Walcot to use.”

For more information, bookings or to join the committee, contact 01793 495832 or www.buckhurstpark.cc.btck.co.uk.

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