A SOCIAL club is aiming to be at the heart of the community over Christmas after the management team spent a year-and-a-half adding new activities.

The Green Baize club in Park South has entertainment planned for pensioners, children, sports teams and everyone in-between in coming weeks.

A harsh economic climate and pressures on the licensed trade have spelled the end for several similar venues in Swindon. But the Green Baize has a busy Christmas roster under the team of licensee Karen Price and manager Chris Shields.

The couple were encouraged by a large turnout for a UB40 tribute band last Saturday and plan to build on the success over Christmas.

Chris said: “The club is here for the whole community and we want to re-establish it as a family-friendly place where children can come and be safe and enjoy the activities.

“We will welcome everybody with a smile and be friendly. We have gone from strength to strength since taking over and have improved our entertainment, with a lot of bands visiting.

“It’s all been very positive.”

The club has darts, two football teams, four pool teams and a crib team, along with bingo.

Coaches and players of local sports teams are welcome to come and talk to the management about sponsorship opportunities, and a function room is available for free.

The Green Baize, in Horham Crescent, is not tied to any brewery or management company so Chris and Karen have added their own imprint since taking over.

Karen said: “The UB40 night was brilliant and showed how good the response has been since we took over. We have had lots of nice comments and word also went around on Facebook with people saying how much they enjoyed it. We pride ourselves on being a very friendly place and we have hosted parties for children and OAPs.

“Although we took over last July this is the first Christmas where we really feel settled in and know people’s faces and names.

“We are the only venue like this in Park South and Park North. All our staff are local and we want to make all the community welcome.”

A children’s Christmas party takes place on December 22 for members and non members with a disco, food, Santa and presents. Tickets cost £2 for non members.

Victoria, a singer from Bristol, will perform on Christmas Eve. Tickets cost £5 for non members.

A darts tournament takes place on December 8, with registration from 11.30am.

And a New Year’s Eve disco keeps the entertainment going into 2013. For more information call 01793 613765.