Despair as Edmonton community centre is set to close

Volunteers and users of the Hanlon Centre in Edmonton despair as it sets date for closure

Volunteers and users of the Hanlon Centre in Edmonton despair as it sets date for closure

First published in News Enfield Independent: Photograph of the Author by

Volunteers and users of a popular community centre were left distraught after trustees announced it is due to close.

The Hanlon Centre, in Dysons Road, has been in the community since 1986 but will now close at the end of this month.

The centre, named after its founder Nigel Hanlon, is open from Mondays to Thursdays and offers a wide range of services from gym sessions to helping refugees learn English.

Trustee Jack Lyons, 82, had helped bring in funding for the centre but has recently retired.

Since his retirement, funding has been hard to come by and the centre has unpaid bills amounting to £20,000.

Incensed volunteer Bharat Patel told the Enfield Independent this was a “crushing blow” to the area and that trustees should have prepared for the departure of Mr Lyons.

He said: “The trustees failed to prepare for Jack’s leave and have now left themselves in this predicament and are leaving a community without a centre.

“This placed is used by so many people. We have had a Somali man here recently who had been shot in the past and is now learning to speak English. Where will he go now? It’s a crushing blow.”

The centre has been based around Edmonton in its 28-year history and came to its current premises in 2011 when it was opened by Prince Andrew.

Mr Patel added: “People will have nowhere to go now this is closing; you will see more crime on the street and a loss of community feel.”

The centre previously had two members of staff and three volunteers. The two staff have been made redundant as a result of the impending closure.

Mr Patellaunched a petition this week to keep the centre open and has more than 100 signatures.

Edmonton MP Andy Love said: “The Hanlon Centre has always offered an open and welcoming door to anybody who needs it, and does a particularly good job of providing a space for young people to go. 

“I hope that we will be able to work together to find some funding to ensure it can keep running as its closure would be a sad loss for our area.”

Nigel Asbridge, chairman of the Hanlon Centre and priest at neighbouring church St John’s, said: “The Hanlon Centre has recently experienced difficulties in obtaining the required level of funding we need to operate and as a result we have been forced to temporarily suspend our activities. 

“We are now embarking upon a new stage of fundraising. We are aware of how important the services we provide are to the local community and we are committed to reopening the centre once we’ve achieved the required level of financial support. We hope that this will be possible by early next year.”

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree