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Volunteers thanked for community centre support

Swansea Council has said a special thank-you to some of the volunteers who give-up their time to run the city's 38 community centres.

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Partnerships are in place across Swansea that have seen volunteer management committees take on the day-to-day running of the much used buildings.

Not only has it ensured the future of the centres during times of austerity it has helped secure new investment as the committees can source external funding not available to the council.

Some now have new commercial kitchens while other improvements include new toilets and flooring and equipment.

A buffet and presentation was recently held at one of those to see new investment - Penlan Community Centre- and volunteers from across Swansea attended.

Joyce Barker is chair of the management committee a Treboeth Community Centre where she has been a volunteer for more than 40 years.

She said: "Our centre is very well used by lots of different groups of all ages and we've got a loyal membership who are very supportive.

"We put on a lot of social events and we do some fundraising so the centre is looking very good at the moment.

"It is good for the community and I enjoy volunteering as you get to meet so many nice people."

Linda and Steve Bolchover help manage the Rechabite Hall in Gowerton.

Linda said: "It is hard work but we enjoy it and there's a real sense of achievement to see the hall in good order and to see it well used by the community."

Volunteers come from a range of ages and most centres are always on the look-out for new recruits willing to give up a little time to help keep them going.

Swansea Council owns and insurers the buildings and a small number of development officers are on hand to support the committees.

Cabinet member for Better Communities, Andrew Stevens, said: "I'm very pleased that we have been able to recognise and thank some of the volunteers who do amazing work in keeping our community centres active.

"The time and effort that they put in does not go unnoticed.

"One of the things that we have found is that when communities take-over the running of these treasured assets it unleashes the wonderful ideas local residents have to shape their community centres for the better.

"Community influence means facilities are tuned into the needs of local people, and that makes them a more vibrant hub that can make a difference every day."

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