Do you have a local community centre close to where you live?
If I’m being honest, I didn’t really give our local community centre and halls any thought until I became a parent. It was only when our eldest was born that I started to have any contact with them, but before I knew it, toddler groups, birthday parties, after-school clubs and weekly yoga classes had turned me into a regular user. Maybe I need some kind of loyalty card!
These community spaces bring so many different groups of people together, and by doing so they really help people connect with other local residents and improve life in their surrounding areas. I think they’re particularly vital for young people, offering a place where they can take part in positive, fun activities, make new friends, and learn life skills.
Because they work so hard servicing their local residents, keeping community centres ship-shape and sparkling is a pretty tough job. Last week I went along to Moorland Community Centre in Lincoln, to witness it’s transformation by Cif’s expert cleaning squad.
Earlier this year, Cif launched their Community Clean project, with the aim of highlighting the vital role community centres play in their local area, and the amount of work that goes into maintaining them. Moorland Community Centre was one of the five winners chosen to receive a visit from Cif’s team of cleaners and decorators, who gave the building a complete deep-clean and a fresh coat of paint.
Moorland Community Centre is situated in an area of high deprivation, and plays a key role in the local community. Outside, there’s a large playing field, outdoor sports courts and skate park, and the building itself houses a main hall and two meeting rooms which are in constant use.
You name it, this centre is home to it: lunch club, alternative healing group, youth club, church groups, the local Chinese association, curling club, police and housing surgeries, and the local Positive Futures group for young people – not to mention the council’s Neighbourhood Working team.
With this much activity on a weekly basis, and a caretaker that looks after three other buildings too, keeping the centre clean is a tough job. When I arrived, the Cif team had already finished cleaning one of the meeting rooms from top to bottom, and were getting stuck in with the main hall.
The kitchen was getting a thorough clean too.
The decorating team were hard at work in the entrance and reception area; I’ve never seen anyone paint as fast as these guys.
Caroline from the Neighbourhood Working team explained just how big a deal this centre is for the local community. In her words, “It’s a much-loved building” – and the fact that it has been chosen as a winner in the Community Clean project has only increased the pride and ownership that local residents take in it. In fact, the local church group has already offered to carry on where the Cif team leave off and help to decorate the main hall. Isn’t it great that a project like this can inspire a local community to pull together?
This much-loved building is now sparkling and ready to welcome local residents again. I think it’s going to be an even bigger part of the community from now on.