Rev returns for Hucknall centre’s 25th birthday

St John's Community Centre 25th anniversary'Saturday 6th June 2015''COPY PICTURE: St John's Community Centre is opened 25 years ago by Rev Haydon Wilcox who returned today to make a speech.''Pic by Dan Westwell

St John's Community Centre 25th anniversary'Saturday 6th June 2015''COPY PICTURE: St John's Community Centre is opened 25 years ago by Rev Haydon Wilcox who returned today to make a speech.''Pic by Dan Westwell

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A Hucknall comunity centre welcomed back the minister who helped found it to mark the building’s 25th anniversary.

The Rev Haydon Wilcox returned to St John’s Community Centre on Saturday 6th June as a special guest, to meet old friends and reminiscence about the £80,000 campaign which built the centre back in 1990.

St John's Community Centre 25th anniversary'Saturday 6th June 2015''Rev Haydon Wilcox returns to St John's Community Centre 25 years after first opening it. Here he is with the current Vicar Rev Louise Nicolls (left) and Andrea Smith (right) who is the Centre Manager .''Pic by Dan Westwell

St John's Community Centre 25th anniversary'Saturday 6th June 2015''Rev Haydon Wilcox returns to St John's Community Centre 25 years after first opening it. Here he is with the current Vicar Rev Louise Nicolls (left) and Andrea Smith (right) who is the Centre Manager .''Pic by Dan Westwell

Centre manager Andrea Smith said: “I hadn’t met Haydon before and he was very charismatic. He told the story of how he came to St John’s parish as a young vicar and the things that he found here. He saw a real need to reach out to elderly, lonely and isolated people,

“The Hicks memorial hall, a school building outside the church, was too small and so the congregation set about raising the money. In those days there was no such thing as the internet and they had to write to hundreds of people, poring over names in the library and asking for donations, as well as the usual things like jumble sales. It was quite an achievement and we have been meeting here ever since.”

The Just Good Friends Club meets twice a week: a quiet drop-in session on Tuesday afternoons, and a full day on Fridays with transport, lunch and entertainment provided. Five places are available. A scheme which lets people make monthly donations has been launched and the charity is now registered with Gift Aid.

Andrea said: “With the cuts to social care there are a lot more people relying on grants from charitable institutions and there are only limited resources. So I am also trying to find new income streams. We have a fanastic band of volunteers and without their support I would not be able to run the centre. They are very loyal - and the members love them. It is like a big family really.”

For more, e-mail hucknall.st.johns@gmail.com or call 07512 765111.