Like it? Crowds are out in force to show they love Leigh Park!

Ethan Nash with mum Maria, PCSO Amanda Turner, Lloyd Hill (under all the toys) and Courtney Nash Pictures: Keith Woodland (170398)
Ethan Nash with mum Maria, PCSO Amanda Turner, Lloyd Hill (under all the toys) and Courtney Nash Pictures: Keith Woodland (170398)
Wayne Sweeney with his wife Stacey Sweeney

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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SCORES of families enjoyed a day of fun activities and entertainment as a community centre opened its doors.

The first Love Leigh Park Day was held at Leigh Park Community Centre in Dunsbury Way.

Mary Dalton from Making Spaces with Brooke White doing some print making

Mary Dalton from Making Spaces with Brooke White doing some print making

The centre, which is run by Community First, held craft activities, musical performances, a free lunch, boxing demonstrations and more, all followed by a screening of the film Trolls in the evening.

Centre manager Dan Moore said: ‘It was very successful and we saw more than 500 people come through the doors on Saturday.

‘It was great, everyone looked like they enjoyed it and the performances from Warren Park Primary and Park Community were especially good.

‘The over-50s fitness club put on a demonstration, which everyone joined in with. Everyone had great fun, enjoying the facilities and learning about the history of the centre and Leigh Park and sharing memories.’

Chelsea Beeton spars with her dad Richie

Chelsea Beeton spars with her dad Richie

A variety of stalls showcased facilities available from the centre, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Leigh Park Amateur Boxing Club – and groups in the area such as Making Space, a craft centre in Bishopstoke Road, and Angel Radio in Havant attended the day.

Lynne Dick, from Making Space, said: ‘Days like these are important because – like in any community – people are busy with their daily lives, but events like this give us a chance to connect and to find out what’s on offer on their doorsteps, plus it’s a great sociable event.’

Tim Houghton, chief executive of Community First, which took over running the centre last year, said he was delighted with the turnout.

He said: ‘It has been brilliant. It was all about getting local people from Leigh Park into the centre to find out the groups and activities.’

Volunteers and staff outside Leigh Park Community Centre

Volunteers and staff outside Leigh Park Community Centre

Mr Houghton encouraged people to visit the centre – and to get involved with volunteering.

He added: ‘The centre is essential, it’s the heartbeat of the community.

‘The whole point of the event was to celebrate that and the wonderful things that go on in Leigh Park.’

The day was funded by an £8,528 grant from the Big Lottery Celebrate Fund. Visitors were asked to give their views on what they would like to see at the centre in a consultation, which continues today.

A coffee and cake day, which is free to attend, is being held at the centre from 12.30pm until 2.30pm today.

For more information, contact beverley.palmer@cfheh.org.uk or go to facebook.com/leighparkcommunitycentre