IT WAS a celebration which showed what Broadlaw Community Centre stands for – bringing people together.
People flooded through the doors of the site in Bishopsfield Road, Fareham, on Saturday, for a birthday party and fete to mark a successful first year since the centre opened.
Since it opened, the community centre, operated by the charity South East Hampshire Community Outlook (SEHCO) on behalf of First Wessex housing association, has made a wealth of difference to local residents.
Many of them came together at the birthday party to enjoy the success that they have helped build.
As well as a bouncy castle, attractions included a tombola, cake stall, refreshments, raffle and children’s colouring competition.
Local police community support officers also attended. The event was officially opened by Mayor of Fareham, Councillor David Norris, and Mayoress Pamela Norris.
Cllr Norris said: ‘I think it’s marvellous. It’s a good, multi-purpose facility.
‘There is a lot going on and I think everyone is enthusiastic.
‘It is nice that it has been a success in its first year.’
Sandi Naylor is the secretary of Broadlaw Volunteers Group, a trustee of charity SEHCO, and was heavily involved in organising the event.
She also ran a stall selling jewellery she had made at the birthday party.
She said: ‘The centre’s made an awful lot of difference here. This was quite a run down part of Fareham.
‘We hold quite a few community events.
‘We normally have a summer fair but we decided, in a way of saying thank you to the community for their support, we would have a birthday party at the community centre.
‘The community love it.
‘We have a lot of clubs here – we have somebody who comes down from First Wessex and helps with money matters.
‘We have a family space, and on a Thursday we do a youth space which is aimed at older children.’
Maria Ganderton is a community development worker for SEHCO and works closely with local residents.
She said: ‘We’ve got a family space – this week we had 18 children.
‘It’s just somewhere people can come in and touch base.
‘I think it’s just nice for people to know we’re here.
‘It helps people support each other.’