Hailsham: Newly refurbished centre receives a VIP opening

The opening ceremony
The opening ceremony

A POPULAR day centre for over 55s in Hailsham has reopened following a major refurbishment.

Last Thursday (January 26) more than 30 people gathered for the official reopening ceremony of the Charles Hunt Centre in Vicarage Field.

The centre is home to Age Concern Hailsham, Hellingly & Herstmonceux and has been renovated over the Christmas and New Year period.

Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor Richard Grocock, cut a ribbon in front of guests, which included Age Concern Hailsham president, Geoff Rowe, and chairman Alan Faulkner, to declare the centre’s doors open to members.

The popular Charles Hunt Centre was built in 1987 and provides a social outlet with amenities for people over the age of 55 years.

The centre offered cooked lunches, chiropody treatment, nail care, social events, entertainment and a charity shop on-site.

Twenty-five years on, the facility still thrives with approximately 450 members and some 60 volunteers.

Dave Snoxell, centre manager, said the refurbishment has given the facility a new lease of life.

He said, “Following expert advice, the chosen refurbishments have given the centre a more contemporary feel which seemed to be thoroughly approved by our guests at the official opening.

“We are extremely grateful to all those who have made this possible, from our generous funders to the individual supporters and volunteers who have guided the refurbishment.”

The centre remains totally self-financing, monies coming from fundraising events, donations and nominal profits from services and entertainment supplied to members.

Among the improvements include a complete refurbishment of the kitchen with new flooring and appliances, redecoration of the toilets and main hall, new interior and exterior signage and a deep clean throughout.

Councillor Grocock said, “I am delighted with the improvements that have been made - it has been transformed nicely and is now much warmer and more welcoming.

“I feel very honoured to have cut the ribbon at the opening event and wish the centre every success in the future.”

Town councillor Geoff Rowe, president of Age Concern Hailsham, said, “The Charles Hunt Centre is a good asset for Hailsham.

“I hope as many people as possible in the future become aware of the excellent job the staff and volunteers at this centre do, and the importance of its role in the local community.

“The centre has undergone some much needed improvements and now we need to ensure that people take the fullest advantage of the services and social opportunities on offer.”

The Charles Hunt Centre is on open week days from 9.30am-4pm. Hot meals are served on week days and afternoon activities every week day which include bingo, line dancing, indoor kurling, short mat bowling and live entertainment shows.

New members are always very welcome and membership is only £8 per year.

For more details, call Dave Snoxell on 844398.