On land given by the Harker family in 1922 to the Parish Council
"..... for the purposes of recreation of the parishoners"
Heathlands Community Centre in Blofield Heath is the product of years of serious hard work and dedication by many local residents.
The Community Centre hosts daily events, including play schools for children, a youth club, adult sports and entertainment - and a day centre for the elderly.
It is also the home of a number of clubs and societies, some with special interests.
The public areas of the centre include a large hall, which supports indoor sports and regular entertainment events.
A members' bar has been running successfully for many years and runs its own entertainment and sports events both for members and for the public.
Outside the hall complex is a large grassed field used for outside events. An adjoining second field was purchased in the 1990's and is used regularly by local and visiting football teams. The local bowls club has an excellent green as part of the complex.
THE HISTORY OF HEATHLANDS COMMUNITY CENTRE
From humble beginnings, the original wooden building was replaced in the 1960s by the current building and has proved to be a very popular place for local residents.
Heathlands Community Centre was first registered as a charity in 1962 and has been run by members of the community who volunteer a small amount of time every month to ensure that this facility is maintained for the community.
When the community centre was first started, it was a wooden 'hut' on the site of our present building. Members of the community raised the money with events and grants to build the new centre; they also did most of the work involved in building it. We have very little information from that time and would be most interested to hear from anyone involved in the project, especially so if you are still living in the area. We would like to compile a history board for the centre. If you have any photos from this time or even earlier, we would love to hear from you.
A members-only Sports and Social Club was set up by members of the community in 1989. At the time and as a Registered Charity, the Management Committee could not be directly involved with the sale of alcohol. A Heathlands Sports and Social club committee was formed to oversee and run the club as the fund raising arm of the Community Centre. Since then, the laws have changed making it easier for registered charities to raise funds by providing alcohol. Early in 2010 the Heathlands Sports and Social Club vacated, and handed the premises back to Heathlands Management Committee. The Management Committee now operates Heathlands Social Club directly and continues to raise vital funds for the community centre.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
Today we are still fund raising to improve the facilities that are available. Some of the building needs decorating, storage space is desperately needed, and the toilets are in need of modernisation. We desperately need a bigger car park easy for the disabled to use, and we need play and fitness facilities on the playing field. In a nut shell we need a complete overhaul. We hope to raise approximately £200,000. There are grants available but it is not easy to get them, so we are now enlisting the help of various people who do this sort of thing all the time. The under 5ís play area and main hall redecoration was completed during 2006. The kitchen had a complete re-fit during 2008 and the front car park was also re-surfaced. Further refurbishment is underway and hopefully that work will be completed shortly. Slowly but surely we are starting the work necessary to bring this centre up to date.
We welcome new people to get involved and if you would like to know more, please contact the Focal Point editor, Granville Hornsby on 01603 713141 in the first instance.