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Asda Foundation grant for the centre that's 'the backbone' of the local community

January 25, 2018 11:13 AM

Volunteers at a community centre in Newcastle say they're "overwhelmed" after receiving a grant for £30,000 from the Asda Foundation to enable them to offer better facilities for local people – like these guests at their lunch club for the elderly.

Our Byker store's community champion Ashleigh Longstaff helped Heaton Community Centre secure the grant for £29,980.76 to set up a cafe and improve their kitchen facilities.

The centre was set up in 1986 and offers a wide range of activities including a childcare group, fitness classes, entertainment and a social club.

Paul Gosling from the community centre said: "We were overwhelmed to receive this funding – the committee were over the moon. Asda Byker have been great with us and Ashleigh's been fantastic as well. There's a real buzz around the place now.

"This money will help us refurbish our tired old kitchen area so we can offer a proper cafe to provide food and refreshments to the groups who come and use our facilities. We should also be able to decorate and upgrade others areas of the building too.

"We're the backbone of the Heaton community. We're like a little family and need to keep the centre going for as long as we can."

Ashleigh, who regularly volunteers with the group, said: "It was a lovely afternoon with a lovely group of people. One of the ladies, who's 92, came up to me at the end and said she'd found friendship through the group, which was so nice to hear.

"This group are bringing the community closer together and it's a pleasure to help them out."