A KEIGHLEY woman has become the driving force behind a packed community centre.

Michele Horsfal rallied her neighbours to ensure the Hainworth Wood Community Centre could open twice a week throughout the summer holidays.

The volunteer team provided a range of activities every Monday and Thursday in the building on Woodhouse Road.

The women, including Charlene Ryan, Kelly Turner, Stacey Myers and Laura Clay, provided arts and crafts activities, as well as preparing, cooking and sharing food.

Food surplus has been collected from local Co-op food stores with encouragement from Co-op Community Champion Marie Mccool.

Other food was bought or foraged, to help make communal meals for crowds of up to 38 residents at a time. Unused food items were distributed to residents.

The team were this week praised by Shaun O’Hare, coordinator of the Big Local regeneration group that operates in Hainworth Wood.

He said the project was an “absolutely top effort” from the Hainworth, Woodhouse and Spring Bank community.

He said: “Michele is an inspiration, who is making a real difference to her community.

“She is well-known for her kindheartedness and endless efforts to help her neighbours, but she has taken another community life to a new level this summer.”

The community effort was supported by Rachal Neald, who runs a social enterprise called Healthy Growth Initiative.

She said: “We are all about growing, teaching, cooking and raising awareness about food and where it comes from, with a healthy grin at all times.”

Rachel said it had been amazing working with Michelle and her team and “stuffing faces with affordable healthy food”.

They were spin-offs from bringing people together at the Hainworth Wood Centre, including organising a school uniform swap.

Sean added: “The band of residents are keen to continue the efforts, so we will be looking at the possibility of opening the centre for community-led activity in the long-term.

“The Community Meal days have been co-produced and attended by local people interested in working together to make the centre a place for everyone.

“Big Local has helped with funding and organisational support and it’s been a pleasure to be involved.”

Big Local is a 10-year regeneration programme in the ’Keighley Valley’ which includes neighbourhoods alongside the lower River Worth, including Stockbridge, Thwaites, Parkwood, Woodhouse, and Red Holt in Ingrow.

The programme, which has attracted more than £1 million of lottery money, is run by residents of the various neighbourhoods with support from Mr O’Hare.