Dr Alan Billings spent the morning of Tuesday, 3 October at the Chislett Centre in Kimberworth, Rotherham.
The Commissioner went along to the centre to hear from staff and volunteers about how they engage with the community in Kimberworth Park. The centre provides a welcome place for people of all ages to come along and enjoy a number of activities which include the well equipped gymnasium, café facility and group sessions.
Dr Billings said: “The Chislet Centre was quite a surprise. I never really knew what to expect on my visit, but it was refreshing to see how many people use the local community centre. The place was buzzing with people of all ages, playing pool, drinking tea and just enjoying having somewhere to go and meet people.
“The centre and its activities are a good example of where young and older people come together and develop relationships which has a positive effect within the wider community.
“I have heard all about the ‘Men in Sheds’ initiative, where men from the local area come along and make bird tables, planters, small animal houses and I was extremely encouraged to hear about the work they do with young people. Some of the good news stories that they told me, show that many people just need somewhere to go where people will believe in them and encourage them be who they want to be.
“I would like to thank the team at Chislet Centre for the work they do in the community and wish them well. They all seem like a dedicated group of individuals, who work tirelessly to help people in their community.”
The Chislet Centre can be accessed throughout the day and night and run a number of clubs from well-being sessions, yoga to a choir and family trips to the seaside.