Springhill looking forward to new community centre

Nadine McLaughlin with Sean, Ethan and Tyler in the games room. DR45

A NEW community centre could be built at Springhill Park as early as next March, it has been revealed.

Speaking this week, a representative for SPARYA (Springhill Park Area Residents and Youth Association) explained that the new facility will be council owned, although it will be up to the community to drive the agenda.


Back in March 2016 a winding up order was issued by the Inland Revenue against the now defunct Springhill Park Community Association, which closed with the loss of three jobs.

Latterly however, local residents have formed their new group – SPARYA – and now have the old community centre up and running once again.

“The future is all positive, there is no negative,” the SPARYA spokesperson said. “We already have an after-school programme running, a seniors club, a ladies group, mothers and toddlers and we’re already planning now for the summer scheme. The place is blooming and people are already asking about registering their children for the summer scheme.”

Two street clean-ups have also taken place, co-ordinated by SPARYA members, the most recent being on Friday past when young people and volunteers took to the streets to lift litter.

“Everyone is voluntary here,” the spokesperson continued. “It’s the community supporting itself.

“At the clean-ups, the young people were out lifting things. It was as if they were saying, ‘this is our estate’. They were taking ownership.”

The main project within the community is the youth club, which welcomes all ages between five and 17 and runs four days a week. Activities include healthy eating, arts and crafts, sports and video games.

And from September onwards the group will be offering basic training in English, maths and ICT. It’s envisioned this will be free and open to all.

“The centre is constantly being used, so the new facility will be a great help,” the SPARYA spokesperson continued. “It’ll probably be something similar to what we have. This centre has been here for 20 years and it shows.

“We’re expecting to have it by March next year and allowing for slippages, maybe by June or July. We’re looking forward to it because as it’ll be council-owned, it’ll also be maintained. All we have to do is make the most of it.”


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