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Giving the gift of community spirit this Christmas

Luke Senior Hall Community Centre handover. Beyond Housing Programme Manager Tanya Spedding (left) hands over the Luke Senior Hall keys to (from 2nd left).. Kath Cornes, Heather Temple and Eileen Found.Beyond Housing has gifted the management of the Luke Senior Hall community centre in Loftus to the local community.

The Luke Senior Hall Community Management Group has now taken over management of the premises along with responsibility for enquiries, booking and maintenance.

To commemorate a key member of the group, Ian Cornes, who passed away recently, a room has been named in his honour. Beyond Housing has commissioned and fitted a plaque to the room’s door.

Kath Cornes, Community Management Group Chairperson and widow of Ian Cornes said: “This should have been Ian’s day, he would have loved this. It’s been a lot of hard work, and a long time coming, but eventually worth it!

“It sometimes felt like we were taking six steps forward and three steps back but with the help of our community group members, funders and all our supporters the centre will remain in our community for young people and old.”

Tanya Spedding, Beyond Housing Programme Manager, said: “Having grown up in this area, I have fond memories and a long-standing connection with this centre and the surrounding community.

“It’s taken a great deal of work and long hours for everyone involved with the group, but I’m happy to say that it’s all paid off and the centre will continue to be a vital resource for the residents of Loftus.”

Heather Temple, Community Management Group member, said: “It’s good that we can now actively promote the centre’s use for the community. A new range of activities and events will hopefully alleviate some of the problems that affect local people such as social isolation and lack of transport.

“We’ll also be introducing some new educational activities including first aid classes for young parents along with trips and spills awareness for some of our elderly residents.”

Eileen Found, Community Management Group member, said: “The centre has been a treasure at the very heart of our community for many elderly and disabled residents.

“It is absolutely ideal for anyone who wants to come along and join in our events and activities. It’s an essential part of the estate and we just couldn’t do without it!”