After months of planning and years of waiting Maidenbower Community Club has finally opened.
A team of six volunteers has been working over the past few months to open the club based at the Pavilion in Maidenbower Park, which finished being built in December 2011. Since then different groups have been trying to get a club going.
Nicola Smith, 40, is one of the original committee members. She said: “Last autumn the council had a meeting to see if there should be a community club and about 45 people turned up.
“Only six of us turned up to the next meeting and that’s who the committee is today.
“There were four groups before us that tried to get the club running. It was always funding rather than time.
“We got the funding from the Lottery Big Awards for All project and put in a business plan and that was it.”
In just the first two weeks after opening, community groups including Age UK, a mum and toddler group and quiz teams have wanted to use the club for regular events.
Nicola said: “It’s not just a social club. Three days a week Age UK will be here. We are going to hhave a bingo afternoon and tea dances.
“We’re going to start a breakfast club for 11 to 17 year olds and evening meals in the next few weeks. We are ‘not for profit’ so everything we make is going back into the community.”
When the opening day finally arrived, it was a time to remember.
Nicola said: “We were choked up. It’s only been this week that it’s sunk in and I know it’s all been worth the filling in forms and haggling.”
On Saturday people enjoyed the new club.
Carol Furnish from Pound Hill said: “It’s somewhere to come and be part of the community.
“All the staff have been so welcoming, you feel relaxed and the prices are really reasonable. It’s a credit to them, really.”
Her son Clint, 25, from Maidenbower, said: “It’s lovely to have it here, especially for the kids. I’ve just moved here a month ago so it’s great to meet everyone.”
The team is looking for volunteers to help them run the club seven days a week. For more information go to www.maidenbowerpark.co.uk