There was a great turnout for the opening of a new Salford Community Hub in Elkanagh Gardens on Saturday. The centre has been improved by national affordable housing provider Affinity Sutton which has around 265 properties in Salford, and includes a large training room with new IT facilities as well as a commercial size kitchen to host healthy cooking sessions. The Mayor of Salford, Eric Burgoyne, opened the centre which Affinity hopes will become a thriving meeting place for the residents.
The event included sessions for first time internet users, DIY lessons, cooking displays and soup sampling, as well as f information stalls, help to stop smoking and bulb planting with community centre Garden Needs. While mums and dads and grandparents surfed the internet, learning to shop online, carry out job searches and manage their money, the kids were kept happy with arts and crafts and free face painting. And those who sampled the fab free soup were even given a veg pack, stock cubes and a recipe leaflet to recreate the meal at home.
"We hope the new centre will become a real 'hub' of the community" said Andrew Cooper, Neighbourhood Investment Manager for Affinity Sutton "We want to facility to be well used by all ages for a wide range of activities for a long time to come."
The day has been captured on film by REELmcr, who are working with local young people to make a film about Suttons Estate to celebrate their community. The finished product will be shown alongside other films made by young people from all over the country who live in Affinity Sutton Properties and will be premiered at the National Film Theatre in London in February.
"The whole community is getting involved but the filming is all being done by the young people, who are proving to be naturals at film making and took control straight away" said REELmcr Director Jacqui Carroll, who has previously made lots of top films in Salford.
"We're thrilled to be working back in Salford as we began our work in the area and are now seeing young people we worked with over ten years ago with their own children and the new generation" she added "Salford communities are fantastic to work with as there is so much talent here and there are so many rich stories to tell."
Words and photo by Joanne Knowles