By Ninder Kaur
Thanks to Provident Financial’s community outreach programme, Good Neighbour, Bolton Woods Community Centre will not be closing its doors for good.
The centre’s financial difficulties came to light when a Provident Financial volunteering day had to be cancelled, due to the threat of the Centre having to close with immediate effect. A charity specialising in business community engagement programmes in Bradford was able to receive an investment of £15,000 to keep the centre open. After completing a volunteering day back in 2009 and revisiting the centre this year, Provident Financial agreed to invest the full amount to support the well-loved centre and help get it back on its feet.
The centre located in BD2 is popular with local families for its childcare sessions in which parents can bring their children to the soft-play and be looked after by trained childcare staff, whilst the adults allow themselves a couple of hours to have a well-earned coffee and cake.
The centre also provides a service for local elderly citizens where volunteers prepare nutritious home cooked meals for the over 50’s. There is even a minibus door-to-door service provided for those in the community who are unable to make their own way to the group, meaning the club can be a vital source of socialising for isolated elderly citizens.
Nigel Taylor, Enterprise Coordinator at Bolton Woods Community Centre, couldn’t be more delighted at being given the opportunity to keep the centre available to the community, saying “Provident are a real lifeline to us here at the Community Centre. We are now in the position to develop our community enterprise of The Hub Coffee Shop and Cubs in the Woods Soft Play Gym. Our ultimate aim is to become financially self-sufficient and maintain a long-term community provision well into the future and Provident has given us this opportunity and potentially secured the centre for future generations. Bolton Woods Community Centre had the great fortune of experiencing a Provident ‘Team Challenge’ volunteering day in which the team cleared our outdoor play area of over two years of weeds and unfortunate neglect. The area now looks amazing and we can’t wait to open it to the children accessing the play gym. We really can’t thank them enough.”
Sharon Orr, Community Investment Manager at Provident Financial, explained the decision behind the investment, saying “It was a real shock to hear that Bolton Woods Community Centre was being forced to close its doors, having seen over the years how valued it is throughout the local community. With the help of our partners, Participate, we were able to provide support to get the centre back on track and lay the groundwork for what will hopefully be a thriving and sustainable community hub. The volunteering day was a great opportunity to see how well-used the centre is and we look forward to seeing the new outdoor play area being put to good use by the young visitors!”