Aim to give village vibe in the city as Silver Road Community Centre throws open its doors

Open day at Silver Road Community Centre, Norwich. Photo: Geraldine Scott

Open day at Silver Road Community Centre, Norwich. Photo: Geraldine Scott - Credit: Geraldine Scott

A Norwich community centre threw open its doors and welcomed all in, for an open day to up its profile.

Silver Road Community Centre opened three years ago, when the community-minded committee won what was then the Silver Rooms, and were given the centre to run on a 25-year lease with a £1 rent.

Since then, it has become a community hub, but leaders say they always want more people to come on board.

Centre manager, Julie Brociek-Coulton, said: 'We've had a good few people through the door today, looking around our charity shop, or having a bacon roll.

'We just wanted to open it up so people can see how far we have come. We have pulled up the carpet from the main hall revealing the original flooring underneath, with generous help from The Jarrold Trust and Geoffrey Watling Charity.

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'We've taken the kitchen out and put it in the prep room - making the kitchen into a café.

'We had college students decorate the café, laid the flooring with monies from the Evening News pot, painted a mural on the back wall, hung paintings from the college students and hung curtains in the room.'

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A £10,000 grant was used to create a welcoming outdoor space, and a Norwich City Council grant allowed a new boiler.

'Our charity shop has just opened, and our Silver Community Reuse Art Project has been opened several weeks now and is helping families to buy and reuse donated paper etc to do art and craft at home.

'Our book club has been opened for several weeks now, and Silver Moments - our over 50s café - is very successful on a Thursday,' Mrs Brociek-Coulton added.

She said that while many people were already enjoying the facilities, there were many more they could reach.

'We're reaching into other communities and cultures too,' she said.

'And it's important to have a centre like this for people's wellbeing more than anything - Silver Moments is a great example, people come and chat and hear each others problems.'

It was hoped a real community hub could be created at the centre, with the same ethos as community centre's which become a big part of life in a rural village.

'That's what we want to create here, just in the city,' Mrs Brociek-Coulton said.

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