Public has their say on future of Kirkby’s Diamond Centre

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DOZENS of ideas as to what activities could be held at Kirkby’s Diamond Centre once it reopens have been put forward by residents at a consultation event.

The centre, on Diamond Avenue, could again become home to much-needed community schemes and groups after local charity Community CentrePoint applied for Coalfields Regeneration Trust funding to reopen it.

The funding is dependent on the charity meeting certain criteria, including holding a public consultation event.

That was held on Friday and many members of the public came along to look at the facility and suggest what activities they would like to see held there.

Suzanne Morton, project worker at Community CentrePoint - which is based at neighbouring Trinity Methodist Church - said that many of the people who dropped in were those who had benefited from the centre’s services in the past.

“A number of people have come in saying how much it’s helped them and now they want to come back and volunteer,” she said.

Tracy Street (38), from Mansfield, was one such person.

She started going to the Diamond Centre when suffering from post-natal depression and anxiety and attended counselling courses.

She said: “By having supportive tutors and understanding students, you become part of the gang - they welcomed you in.

“I think there’s a lot of women who miss having a special place to come to.

“It had a creche so young children could come in and there was a cafe, so if you didn’t want to study you could have a drink.

“I would just like to see it up and running again and somebody using it again.”

Just some of the ideas for things that could be held at the centre were training courses, ‘in to work’ programmes, counselling services, youth activities and drama groups - all for men and women.

People also expressed interest in hiring rooms.

Suzanne said: “The number of people who have said there is a need.

“People are looking for a neutral caring centre where they can develop both educationally and emotionally.

“People need a place of care and I think that’s what will underpin the whole ethos of this centre.”

It is hoped that the Diamond Centre will open sometime in the New Year.

It closed down in April after Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Services could no longer afford to lease the building from Nottinghamshire County Council.