A COMMUNITY House which has been a social hub for over a decade is to close.
Hammersley Hayes Resident Action Group (HHRAG) confirmed they would not fight plans to close the Community House on the estate, after finding locks had been changed two weeks ago.
A luncheon club held at the premises now faces an uncertain future, as doubts have been raised over potential alternative venues.
Your Housing Group provided the community house, in Dovedale Close, as a hub for residents in the Hammersley Hayes area of Cheadle more than 10 years ago.
As well as housing the luncheon club, the building has served as a venue for mum and tot groups, a childrens’ craft club and a work club.
As reported in last week’s Times and Echo, members of the Cheadle Lunch Club arrived at the building on Thursday 27th July to find locks had been changed and they were unable to access the property.
In a statement, Your Housing Group said the weekly club had been the only group using the Hammersley Hayes Community Centre since June and that the group had been informed that they would need to find an alternative venue more than a year ago.
Your Housing Group said they had been working with the club to try and find a new venue.
Four other sites have been considered and a meeting has been organised with Cheadle Cricket Club, where Thursdays have been provisionally booked for the luncheon club.
Operations manager at Your Housing Group, Sharon Wheeler, said: “We are genuinely sorry that we are no longer able to provide access to the Hammersley Hayes Community Centre for the Cheadle Lunch Club, something we have done free of charge for more than five years.
“The health and wellbeing of local residents is hugely important to us.
“Unfortunately, due to more stringent health and safety regulations, we have had to take the difficult to decision to close the building as it is no longer fit for use as a community centre.
“We know that Cheadle Lunch Club is an important fixture for many residents so we have made every effort to support the club in finding a more suitable new home including an option to look at the local cricket club.
“We hope the group finds a new venue very soon so that they can continue providing the luncheon club in the community.”
Trustee of the HHRAG, Ian Whitehouse, said: “We’ve had a good run with them, we’ve had it for 10 years, but it’s just sad for the people that go to the club.
“As far as I know, I don’t think they will be able to get anywhere else. There has been talk of the fire station or the cricket club, but I don’t know if they will be suitable.
“We were serving 30 hot meals up there and these people have been coming to this for years.
“The group didn’t make any money, it was just about providing a good service and people enjoying it.
“I’m sad really. I don’t know what those 30 people will do now on Thursdays – they would have a hot dinner and a game of bingo, a bit of a laugh, but this splits them up now. They’ve perhaps got friends that they might not see any more.
“With all the health and safety I think it will be difficult to find a suitable venue.
“We’ve been thankful for the last 10 years that they have let us use the community house and hope that people have benefitted from it. But the end has come.”
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