Party time as Portchester Community Centre marks first birthday

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IT’S been a year since the people of Portchester gathered to mark the opening of their new community centre.

And last night, a birthday party was held for people across the community to celebrate its first year.

A birthday party was held at Portchester Community Centre to mark its first birthday.''L-R: Bowls club leader Brian Ilott; co-manager Lucy Redfern, Badminton leader Steve Greenwood; Pilates teacher and volunteer Elena Whitefield; co-manager Jane Gillespie.

A birthday party was held at Portchester Community Centre to mark its first birthday.''L-R: Bowls club leader Brian Ilott; co-manager Lucy Redfern, Badminton leader Steve Greenwood; Pilates teacher and volunteer Elena Whitefield; co-manager Jane Gillespie.

Jane Gillespie is the co-manager of the centre.

She said: ‘We are celebrating the centre being open for a year.

‘It’s a community facility and a wonderful building.

‘It’s been hard work but people have been wonderful. They have really supported us.

‘We have enjoyed our first year. We’ve had such a range of activities.

‘It’s been a successful year. It’s about the community and bringing in the people of Portchester to actually use this wonderful facility.

‘Portchester is a community in itself. Lots of local people know each other. This is a central point here.’

People were invited to the party and asked to bring along their own food and drink.

A DJ played music all night and there was a quiz too.

People were charged £1 for a ticket.

Audrey LeClercq, 90, from Beachway, takes part in tea dances at the centre.

She said: ‘I wanted to come here to have a night out. I don’t come out at night.

‘The hall is lovely for dancing.

‘There’s all sorts going on here for all ages. I haven’t heard anyone say anything bad about it.’

Brian Sutton, 69, from Tregaron Avenue in Cosham, volunteers at the centre.

He said: ‘What an incredible year we’ve had. So much has happened in terms of this building alone.

‘We still have lots of people from Portchester coming to look around because it’s such a beautiful building compared to the old community centre.

‘The centre is absolutely vital. You can tell by the number of activities we have which are attended by local people.

‘It’s a fabulous facility for the community.’

To find out more about activities taking place at the centre visit portchestercommunitycentre.co.uk.

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