Under-threat community centre shows what we could be about to lose

(left to right) Penny Wilkinson, Councillor Jim Foreman and Colin Bourdiec
(left to right) Penny Wilkinson, Councillor Jim Foreman and Colin Bourdiec

An under threat community centre in South Tyneside is opening its doors to showcase what it has on offer.

Groups which are based at Brinkburn Community Centre, off Harton Lane, in South Shields, are pulling together to put on a ‘Celebration Day.’

The support we have received from the groups has been great.

Penney Wilkinson

It is the second time the venue has hosted this kind of event - which is aimed at inviting people in to see the range of activities the centre has to offer.

The centre is currently in negotiations with South Tyneside Council after the local authority announced funding will be pulled from community centres from April 1 as part of a range of cash saving measures.

Penney Wilkinson, shairwoman of Brinkburn Community Interest Organisation, said: “We held a celebration day last year which showcased the groups we have at the centre and it was a great success. So we have decided to run the event again.

“There will be lots going on for people of all ages including demonstrations from the Punch For Kids group and Soccer Tots.

“People will also have the chance to take part in a Save A Life workshop to learn how to resuscitate adults and children.”

A range of children’s activities and refreshments will be available on the day, while visitors will also be able to take part in free taster sessions run by the groups.

Meanwhile, a petition in a bid to save the centre has been verified by the local authority. It is hoped it will be formerly handed over at a forthcoming council meeting.

Mrs Wilkinson added: “We are still in negotiations with the council. Coun Jim Foreman has been a fantastic support and we do seem a lot more optimistic now.

“The support we have received from the groups has been great and everyone has been working hard together.”

Coun Jim Foreman said: “The negotiations are still ongoing but we need to keep on fighting as once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

The Celebration Day will take place on March 25 from 11am until 3pm.