Huge lottery fund boost to Ripon community centre

The fundraising team at St Wilfrid's community centre.
The fundraising team at St Wilfrid's community centre.

A lottery grant of more than £84,000 has been awarded to Ripon's St Wilfrid's Community Centre, in a culmination of years of hard work and dedication from volunteers across the city.

Committed to bringing communities together and tackling isolation, the centre's committee members are excited about the new opportunities the funding will bring, having already secured other funding pots of £10,000, £55,000 and £5,000.

In the final phase of regeneration, and the product of a funding drive spanning over four years, developments to the centre will include extending the kitchen and creating even more of a thriving social hub for the city, bringing people together from across all age groups for parties, functions and community group events.

Committee member Anne-Marie Loraine: "A crucial element to our bid has been to reach out to isolated people in the community. There are a lot of people who have moved into Ripon, who might find it hard to find ways of meeting people.

"There is a massive need to tackle isolation, certainly. Our aim has always been to be a support hub to reach out to people who are finding it difficult to access groups. We just want to get the word out there that we are here, that we are available - for people to come in, feel happy, supported and confident."

The community centre already welcomes a wide range of local groups, including everything from dance and crafts, to environmental groups and Age UK.

Next door, St Wilfrid's Catholic Church is keen to build even more links with the community centre as part of its £1 million restoration appeal - both parties working together to support Ripon people.

Anna-Marie said: "It's only by coming together that people realise what they can achieve together. A lot of people don't realise what is available in the community.

"I'm absolutely over the moon that we have secured this funding."