Wisbech centre celebrates anniversary

Fenland MP Steve Barclay cuts a birthday cake to celebrate 10 years of the Wisbech Community Development Trust owning and running the Oasis Centre in Wisbech.

Fenland MP Steve Barclay cuts a birthday cake to celebrate 10 years of the Wisbech Community Development Trust owning and running the Oasis Centre in Wisbech.

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A community celebrated a landmark birthday and looked forward to its future during a special event at The Oasis Centre in Wisbech.

The Wisbech Community Development Trust marked ten years of owning and running the centre in St Michael’s Avenue, with an anniversary party.

Several members of the community and centre users turned out to support the event, which included a packed programme to give a taste of the wide range of activities it offers.

Chris Stevens, Oasis Centre and Trust manager, said there was a tea-dance for the over 60s, games, competitions, karaoke and even taster karate and zumba sessions.

Wisbech Lions were there highlighting the group’s community work, and NHS representatives were also on hand giving visitors mini health checks.

North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay was invited to cut a birthday cake, and he also presented achievement certificates to the centre’s craft group members.

Addressing the gathering, he said: “What makes this place work is the staff. Chris and her team create a warm atmosphere, which is so welcoming.

“It’s not easy to keep going without core funding. We can be very proud of this centre.”

Mrs Stevens said she was proud of how well the centre has done over the last 10 years.

She said: “All charities are struggling. We don’t have core funding so our income comes from hiring out the facilities.

“The last three years have been quite an uphill struggle for us but we have got the advantage of some really great staff who go out of their way to make groups really welcome.

“When groups are on in the evenings and weekends, our staff are always on hand to look after the centre. Some community centres elsewhere just give you a key and you to look after the centre yourself, but if anything goes wrong here our staff are always present and I think that’s what has helped us be here today.

“We couldn’t have done it without the support of the partner organisations, various groups, residents, trustees and volunteers.”

Mrs Stevens said the centre was now looking forward to the next 10 years, with hopes of increasing the number of groups using it.

“We are working with local authorities and strategic partners to see how we can push forward this and plan for the future,” she said.