Keystone Development Trusts has helped to secure the future of Thetford's Riversdale Centre
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
The future of a community facility has been secured after a development trust has taken over the running of the building.
Since it opened its doors in 1980, thousands of people have used the advice, counselling and information services found at the Riversdale Centre in Thetford.
But in 2012 Norfolk County Council funding for the centre, which represented about 50pc of its financial needs, was withdrawn.
Since then the Riversdale Charity Trustees have struggled to find sufficient funds to keep going despite the generous support of several local benefactors.
However the building’s owners Keystone Development Trust have taken on the running of the building and are looking to maintain and expand the current services.
Keystone chief executive Louise Humphries said the organisation will spend the next six months consulting with the local community and funders to see what is in Thetford’s best interests.
“Ultimately the future of the centre is dependent on it still being needed by the community and our ability to present the case to funders to get the necessary renovations and new activities funded,” she said.
“We want to keep it as a community facility because once it is gone it is gone.”
Tenants of the building include Age UK, Voluntary Norfolk and the Apricot Centre Wellbeing Service for Children and Families.
Some refurbishment works will take place in the building. So far the kitchen has been done but rooms are set to be redecorated and electrics rewired. A fully accessible toilet for the disabled will also be fitted.
Many of the trustees and volunteers of the centre have agreed to run a Friends of Riversdale group to steer Keystone and to help with fundraising.
Tim Peacock, the charity’s chairman, said he was “extremely proud of Riverdale, its staff and volunteers and all the work that goes on in the centre”.
Keystone would like to hear from the community about what services they would like to see.
A community meal is being held on February 5 at 12pm and on February 9 a tea dance will take place from 11.30am.
Booking is advised. For more information call 01842 768300 or visit the Keystone Trust website.