One of the focal points of the village of Horham could play a key part in saving people’s lives after fundraising for an external defibrillator.
Fundraising events organised by the Horham Community Council, including bar nights, meal evenings and film shows, have helped pay for the new equipment, and further improvements to the facility.
These have included an improved kitchen, a room divider screen, chairs, curtains, and refurbished toilet facilities, all coming to a cost thought to be near £15,000.
Karen Alderton, booking clerk, told the Diss Express having an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) would provide the community access to potentially life-saving equipment.
“Not many places around here are actually going to have an AED outside on the wall,” she said.
“Although the window is not very long from the time you have a problem to the time you are not going to survive, there is still a chance that anybody in Horham might be able to run for it, and you have a chance then.”
She added the community centre plays an important role in bringing village people together.
“I think these kind of facilities are very important because you would not see each other,” she said.
“We have got facilities here which will then hopefully generate more kids parties, and more things for people like christenings.
“We need continual support, and if anyone wants to come up on a Wednesday, Friday or Saturday (pub nights) we would be very pleased to see anyone.”
Clare Webb, community council member and this year’s village fête co-ordinator, added: “I live in the last house of the village and if I had not come here, I wouldn’t have known anybody.”
The council now hopes further fundraising could help contribute to improvements to the porch, which is leaking, as well as surfacing the car park, and providing children’s play equipment in the village.
The community centre has been run by the Community Council and the Village Hall Trust since its official opening on October 2, 1981.
Originally a canteen in London for soft drinks producer Britvic, a number of villagers travelled to the capital to bring the building back, and put it up in Horham. Over the years the building has been extended, and the walls and roof have also had a makeover.
The centre also hosts birthday parties and other celebrations, zumba classes, and allows hire of the field for groups caravanning.
n For more information on the Horham Community Centre, see their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HorhamCommunityCentre
n The next fundraising event is an old-fashioned village fête, set for Saturday, May 16, from 2pm to 5pm.
There is free entry on the day, with a wide range of activities on offer, including stalls and sideshows, dog agility demonstrations, morris and sword dancing, music, a barbecue, teas and ice creams, as well as an exhibition of arts and crafts from local people in the Old School.
It is hoped the festivities will be opened by former Blue Peter presenter Peter Purves.
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