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Howzat! A centre for Stockbridge groups

A SPORTS club’s riverside clubhouse could become a busy community centre for Stockbridge.

Riddlesden Cricket Club has offered the use of its premises to groups who need a meeting place.

The idea, spearheaded by regeneration body Keighley Big Local, is being piloted with gatherings of the Q Cafe well-being group.

Big Local coordinator Shaun O’Hare said the initiative showed how much could be achieved by residents working together for the common good.

Although in its infancy, the project has already received praise from the national Big Local funding body and could be replicated around the country.

The Q Café was the brainchild of teacher and Hainworth resident Eric Yaffey who wanted to set up a well-being group.

He wanted to give people a chance to gather ‘over a brew’ in order to get out more, have a chat with like-minded people, learn new skills and get answers to their questions.

At the same time, Keighley Big Local had been trying out community meetings in cafes including the Stockbridge Arms fish and chip restaurant.

As part of this, Greg Ellis, a member of Big Local and chairman of Riddlesden Cricket Club, offered the use of the clubhouse during the day for community activity.

Mr O’Hare said: “Stockbridge is lacking a community centre, the space which gives opportunities for the community to meet, get active, learn new skills and volunteer.

“Without a dedicated space there is less chance of developing community-led activities to meet local needs.

“The offer from the Cricket Club to use the clubhouse for wider community activities could grow to give the Stockbridge community that opportunity “

“Riddlesden Cricket Club’s management committee, members and volunteers are a very committed bunch of people

“The clubhouse means a lot to the members – they have rebuilt and refurbished the building through brilliant voluntary efforts when it’s been flooded and ablaze.”

The Q Café will be supported by Community Action Bradford and District, the support agency for Keighley’s voluntary sector, and Riddlesden’s Co-op store has offered support with refreshments and snacks.

The Worth Connecting project will attend sessions to show people how to get the most out of their mobile phones, tablets and computers.

The sessions will run on Wednesdays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm at the clubhouse on Grange Road.

Activities include Memories of Stockbridge, Teamwork & Science, The Seven Most Useful Knots, and Getting to Know Your Computer.

Email ericyaffey@icloud.com or call 07377 068713 for further information.

Mr O’Hare said “The project ideas and ‘working together’ attitude has been praised by Matt Leach, chief executive officer of Local Trust, the funder of Big Local throughout the country.

“Local Trust has said if the project develops they would like to offer Riddlesden Cricket Club members the opportunity to see similar projects operating in other parts of the country.

Opening up Riddlesden Cricket Club’s premises for community use, from left, club chairman and Keighley Big Local member Greg Ellis, Worth Connecting’s Andy Sheppard, and Q Café host Eric Yaffey, with Cricket Club management committee members behind.

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