VOLUNTEERS who run a busy Bracken Bank community centre are making efforts to protect their financial future.

A new committee has been formed in a bid to secure the long-term future of the Sue Belcher Centre.

Members hope to build on the existing success of the centre, which provides many regular activities and special events for all ages of people on the estate.

The building, in Bracken Bank Avenue, hosts several weekly youth sessions, an exercise class, a job club, dog health sessions, regular parties, and councillors’ surgeries.

The Sue Belcher Centre is owned by Bradford Council but has been run for many years by Bracken Bank and District Community Association, who pay a peppercorn rent.

The council pays an annual sum towards the core running costs of the centre, but as part of its long-term lease the association is responsible for all repairs.

Bradford last year cut the amount of core funding provided to run the Sue Belcher Centre, but Keighley Town Council has promised to make a donation towards running costs.

The association formed the new committee with the express purpose of making the centre economically viable.

Association chairman Nadine Peck said: “We want the building to continue to be available for the use of the community.

“Since we formed the committee the volunteers have come together to decorate the centre, apply for grants to make essential repairs, and actively promote the centre as a venue for various organisations and the local community.”

Nadine said the centre was busy with regular activities for all ages.

She said: “We now have four sessions a week for local kids, one on a Saturday run by members of the committee and other volunteers, which also provides the kids with a free lunch.

“The other three sessions are run by One in a Million, Bradford Youth Group and Eccleshill Adventure Play.

“We have been used as a drop-in centre for ward councillors and other bodies, and as a polling station.

“There are weekly exercise classes, and a group for women with mental health issues. Recently Incommunities have started to hold a Job Club on Friday mornings.

The latest innovation at the Sue Belcher Centre will be free health checks for dogs, carried out on August 16 by the Dogs Trust.

Tai Chi for Health sessions are due to begin in the near future.

Nadine added: “We are also a popular venue when local residents are looking for somewhere to hire for a private party.”

Anyone who wishes to get involved with the work of the Sue Belcher Centre should call Pip Gibson on 07587 210101 or email pipgibsoncdw@hotmail.co.uk.