Celebrating our 50th Anniversary
St Werburghs Community Centres 50th Anniversary
St Werburghs Community Centre is celebrating its 50th anniversary. This is a brilliant chance to look at the history of the community centre and the people that have helped shape it.
In 1971 a group of locals, including Roy Hackett, came together to transform the old school building into a community centre. This was a new venture with St Werburghs being one of the first community centres to be created in Bristol. Over the years it has been known with many different names including The Baptist Mills Centre for Community Activities and the Horley Road Centre.
In 1999 St Werburghs Community Association officially became a charity and a Managing committee was established to manage the centre. Under the direction of Linda Bell a new annexe was built in 2009, giving extra space and fresh energy to the centre.
The building is home to a range of tenant organisations Khaas, Kingsway International Christian Centre, Amicus Foster Care, Herbalists without Borders, Zedify sustainable transport and Karen Christie Integrative Counselling. Who all utilise our affordable spaces to deliver services to local communities.
Over the years the charity has developed a range of services and events to support the community. All the projects, events and services that are run here have a clear aim. To promote social inclusion, better mental health and to increase economic and digital inclusion. We also strive to encourage sustainable living and to strengthen community cohesion in Ashley, Easton and Lawrence Hill.
One of the highlights of the centre has always been the amazing events that have happened here. From Caribbean Fiestas in the 1970s to dressmaking and Junior Bhangra dance groups in the ’80s.
These days we host Picnic in the Park, an annual event that brings the whole community to Mina Road Park. As well as Festive Friends that reaches out to isolated older people with a meal, gifts and company.
At the moment there is a great range of services currently run at the centre. With Easy PC helping people with digital support, through one-to-one sessions every Monday. Free computers in the lobby for people to freely access the internet and equipment to use it. Not forgetting the much-loved Raking & Baking cooking & gardening course that teaches people skills as well as bringing them together.
This anniversary is about celebrating the local community. As it is the people that make this hub the vibrant space it is. Through the rest of the year, we will be compiling stories, hoping to capture your memories of the centre over the years and what you want to see in the future.
Tell us your moments, share your photos and let’s celebrate the community at the heart of St Werburghs. If you are interested in taking part get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
Photo credit Carrie Hitchcock