Local at -home care company Home Instead based in Thirsk, recently joined local charity East Thirsk Community Association in celebrating the 20th birthday of East Thirsk Community Hall.
In 1990 over a thousand East Thirsk residents signed a petition to the Town Council encouraging them to help make a site for a hall next to the Thirsk County Primary School. East Thirsk Community Association listened to the needs of the local residents for increased social and recreational provision to be made in East Thirsk. The hall, situated in Hambleton Place, was opened in 1994 to provide leisure, sport and educational activities to the local residents. The building was built by the local community who took part in the Brick by Brick Appeal and donated a £1 for every brick. Funding was also sought from the Sports Council, the Yorkshire Rural Community Council, the Rural Development Commission, and Hambleton District Council, the Foundation for Sport and the Arts plus a host of other smaller charities who support the community.
Between 2012 and 2014 the hall went through a major refurbishment project including the installation of new toilets, new kitchen, carpets, storerooms, lighting and furniture. The project cost £55,000 and was funded by a host of organisations including; Awards for All, Big Lottery Fund, Two Ridings Community Foundation, Jack Blundell, Broadacres, Comic Relief, Thirsk Rotary Club, Hambleton District Council and Thirsk Regeneration Initiative.
In celebration of the hall’s 20 years and its refurbishment, the Association organised a fun open day at the hall with lots of activities for families including a bouncy castle, face painting, fun bus and BBQ from Johnson’s butchers. All the regular users of the hall, local residents, local organisations and funders were invited along to the celebration to enjoy a fun afternoon and to look around the hall and at the facilities on offer.
Home Instead in Thirsk supports its clients living at home through personalised activities. The organisation regularly uses the hall as a venue for their free Dementia Awareness training that they run for the local community. Sheena Van Parys, owner of Home Instead commented; “it is great to be able to support such an event, it is super venue for meetings and workshops. We have used the hall for many years; it is situated in the heart of East Thirsk and is a hub of activity for the local residents, providing facilities for both the young and old”.
Every year, East Thirsk Community Association host a free Christmas dinner at the hall for the older residents. Sheena Van Parys and her caregiving team volunteer at this event, helping to serve the food and also make a donation of wine and sherry to help with the festivities. They are looking forward to the event again this year, serving 60 residents with a hot dinner. Sheena Van Parys added; “the improved facilities, especially the new kitchen, will be very much appreciated by the army of volunteers who help out at this seasonal and very worthwhile event.”