Community centre on brink of closure

Grimesthorpe Community Centre on Holywell Road,is under threat of closure.Youth Club Night in the centre
Grimesthorpe Community Centre on Holywell Road,is under threat of closure.Youth Club Night in the centre
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A Sheffield community centre is facing an uncertain future – after decades at the heart of its neighbourhood.

Grimesthorpe Family Centre on Holywell Road has been home to a variety of community groups for at least 50 years, with a youth club operating there for the last 25.

But a series of problems has left the centre on a financial knife-edge – and desperately seeking support.

Voluntary youth worker Jane Luxon, whose family has been involved in the centre for many years, said there had been a lot of bad luck.

“First we had to pay out £6,000 for a new heating system, then we were landed with a huge gas bill, and we’ve had to pay out for a number of other repairs too,” she said.

Previous essential work has seen damp eradicated from the lower floor and full double glazing installed.

Jane said: “It’s all seemed to come at once and now we fear we may have to fold if we don’t get help from somewhere. There are so many repairs we’ve had to carry out and now there’s simply nothing left in the pot.”

Jane helps to run the youth club one evening a week but the old converted church hall – which dates from the early 19th century – has many other users.

There’s a thriving dance school, which teaches tap, ballet, ballroom and other styles, regular karate classes and a dog club.

“The whole community seems to use this place, and generations of families have been involved. It is the sort of place where people used to hold wedding receptions and family parties of all kinds. My grandparents were involved here years and years ago,” Jane said.

“Our own youth club is a valuable community resource, we cater for a wide age range, eight to 18, and everyone is welcome.

“It is such a shame to think the centre might not be around.”