Community centre now open for business

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A NEW community centre has opened in Bedlington.

The Lodge, home to new social enterprise company Leading Link, was officially opened by Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery.

A series of family activities were on offer to demonstrate what will be available to the community, including Zumba classes, toddler sessions, proggy mat-making, a breakfast café and a mobile skatepark.

The Lodge is based at St Benet Biscop High School.

Nick Bowen, a former headteacher at the school and one of those involved in setting up the centre, said: “This is an innovative and unique approach to really link the school with the community and truly enhances St Benet Biscop and its partner schools’ ethos of being outward-facing.

“I feel very proud of what we have achieved, and we will continue to achieve great things.”

The opening day’s events were run by a 50-strong team of Leading Link volunteers known as youth ambassadors.

Manager Lyn Horton said: “They have worked tirelessly over the last two years to help raise the £130,000 needed to have this building purpose built for the benefit of everyone.

“Some of them actually cycled 21 miles, jumped off their bikes and manned the stalls and activities in the afternoon.

“They really are fantastic at what they do.

“Leading Link’s main focus is to be the driving force of youth and adult involvement and leadership.

“They will be offering an adult volunteer course to run alongside the youth ambassadors’ course, starting this November.”

To get involved or to find out more, visit the Lodge, situated at the front gate of St Benet Biscop High’s grounds, e-mail lyn.horton@leadinglink.co.uk or call Lyn on 0795 076 3613.