Community fridge latest success story at centre saved for community

Volunteers making sandwiches at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich.

Volunteers making sandwiches at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich. - Credit: Catherine Wright

Ten years ago, a community was locked in a battle to stop a former day centre being lost to developers.

But, a decade on, the community centre which they toiled to get off the ground is thriving - thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

A new community fridge is the latest initiative launched at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich, while volunteers will be delivering about 70 Easter Hampers and packed lunches during the holidays.

The Silver Road Community Centre, formerly the Silver Rooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Silver Road Community Centre, formerly the Silver Rooms. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The community centre, in Silver Road, opened in 2014, but the fight for the building began in 2010.

Norfolk County Council decided it wanted to stop running a day centre for older people from the building, then known as the Silver Rooms - and was considering selling it.

The Friends of the Silver Rooms was set up, spearheaded by trustees including former Norwich North MP Ian Gibson and Julie Brociek-Coulton, city and county councillor, to turn it into a community centre.


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The county council agreed to lease it on a peppercorn rent and the venue, now known as Silver Road Community Centre, has gone from strength to strength.

A team of 25 volunteers has been making sandwiches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to provide food, including deliveries, for families who cannot get free school meals.

Since January, they have made 4,500 packed lunches, with donations on the centre's JustGiving page helping fund their efforts.

A grant from Norfolk Community Foundation will mean almost 70 Easter Hampers can be made and delivered, while the centre has run a foodbank since October last year.

Community fridge at the Silver Road Community Centre in Norwich

A community fridge has been launched at the Silver Road Community Centre. - Credit: Catherine Wright

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And the latest venture, launched at the end of last month, is a community fridge, where people can get food, including bread on Saturday mornings.

Julie Brociek-Coulton, manager of the Silver Road Community Centre, said “We are so pleased that we have had such fantastic volunteers they are just like our family.

"It’s a pity that a foodbank is needed but we are very proud that we can help residents in NR3 that need our help.

"Our community fridge is becoming a success and thanks to Norwich Foodhub and Bread Source people can get great bread on a Saturday morning free of charge."

People in north Norwich who need support from the centre can call or text Mrs Brociek-Coulton on 07786694325.

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