Mum’s the word in fight to save well-used centre Supporters need to find an additional £800 a month to safeguard its future
A GROUP of mums has started a campaign to save a much-loved community facility in Englefield Green under threat of closure as it struggles to meet its costs.
The Village Centre in Victoria Street needs to generate an extra £800 a month.
Opened in September 2010, it is a meeting place and a community café and provides services to the community, including a range of children’s classes, weekly free lifts to Egham Post Office and meals for those alone on Christmas Day.
Mum Sam Bailey, who set up The Village Centre Englefield Green Facebook page, regularly uses the centre.
“When my children were babies and I desperately needed to chug down freshly brewed coffee and moan to fellow mums about my severe lack of sleep, there was always The Village Centre,” she said.
“The Village Centre is this critical lifeline for our fantastic little area. The time we are really going to recognise its value is if we lose it, and that really is unthinkable, at least in my mind. It’s a great allround facility and I am a massive supporter.”
A volunteer-led Baby Basics initiative is also held at the centre.
This provides a Moses basket and essential items to support new mothers who are struggling to meet the financial and practical burdens of looking new baby.
Centre manager Jayne Watson said: “The Village Centre is such a great resource for so many people in the area and it is heartbreaking to even think of closure.
“Sadly, although the centre is used by many people in the village, we just can’t currently cover our costs.
“We are putting out an appeal to the local community after a
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to help in whichever way they can – whether this be through volunteering for a few hours a week, baking some cakes for the café or coming in to try something from a delicious breakfast or lunch menu.”
A new initiative open to residents and businesses is to become an official Friend of The Village Centre, which involves a monthly £10 direct debit and will provide those that sign-up with an unlimited supply of tea and coffee – all in the hope of generating extra income.
Ros Fernandez, 42, who runs Music With Mummy at the centre, said: “I’ve been running my business for over eight years and the Village Centre provides an essential meeting place for lots of new parents and carers.
“Instead of closing places like this down, we should be thinking about ensuring every community has a resource such as this. It would be so sad to see The Village Centre close and I really hope the community can get together and help support such a valuable resource.”
To sign up to become a Friend or for a list of activities visit www.villagecentre. org.uk or The Village Centre Englefield Green Facebook page.
Campaigners are determined to do all they can to save the much-loved Village Centre in Englefield Green.