Resource centre is hub of community

DINNINGTON Resource Centre has become something of a hub for the community in a town which has seen tough times since the closure of its pit 20 years ago.

The purpose-built centre, on Laughton Road, was part of the town’s revival when it opened 11 years ago.

Many people just viewed it as the ‘new library’ but it has proved itself to be much more than that.

Four thousand people a week pass through its doors and the range of regular activities taking place shows it is used by all age groups.

Centre manager is Darron Crookes, who took up the post in 2004, having worked previously in pubs and clubs.

He works with a team of three full-time and two part-time staff.

“We used to do everything ourselves but now we have lots of volunteers who help,” said Darron, 41, who lives on the Church Lane estate in Dinnington.

It costs £220,000 to run the centre for a year and because it is a charity, a lot of it comes from fundraising.

There has been a shortfall in income during the past two years which was made up for by a £15,000 grant from Dinnington Town Council.

Darron said: “The year I arrived the gas and electricity bill was £6,000 and last year it had gone up to £17,000. We are hoping to put a suspended ceiling in to the cafe area to make it warmer in the winter and reduce the heating bill.”

Darron has shown his commitment to the centre by doing his fair share of fundraising and is always keen to hear from other people who would like to help out.

Last year he did the Iron Man triathlon in Lanzarote, a two-and-a-half mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and running a marathon, and raised £2,500.

Another big supporter of the resource centre is Dinnington town and borough councillor Jane Havenhand.

Jane, 46, grew up in Dinnington and can remember when the Miners Institute - known locally as the ‘stute - stood where the resource centre is now.

She said: “After the pit closed the institute got into difficulties and closed down.”

“We hold Friday night ‘stute nights here about six times a year with cabaret acts and entertainment and they are very popular.”

“I think we’re very lucky to have a facility like this in Dinnington.”

l Anyone wanting to raise money for the resource centre, volunteer, or find out more about any of the events call 518555.

People come here from other towns and tell me how great it is.”

l Anyone wanting to raise money for the resource centre, volunteer, or find out more about any of the events call 518555.

She said: “Last year I did both the Yorkshire and National three peaks challenges to raise money for the centre and I’m going to run the Worksop half marathon later this year.”

She will also be taking part in a fundraising zumbathon at the resource centre on 22nd September.

Jane, 46, grew up in Dinnington and can remember when the Miners Institute - known locally as the ‘stute - stood where the resource centre is now.

She said: “After the pit closed the institute got into difficulties and closed down a few years later.”

“We hold Friday night ‘stute nights here about six times a year with cabaret acts and entertainment and they are popular.”

“I think we’re very lucky to have a facility like this in Dinnington. People come here from other towns and tell me how great it is.”

Events coming up include a 60s night on 10th September, Take That tribute on 30th September and a barn dance on 8th October.

The centre is open from early morning, 7.30am, to late at night. It has a licence until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Mondays there is the lunch club for over 50s, who get a cooked meal and dessert for £3.50, the sequence dance club and the bridge club.

The Jack and Jill toddler groups meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, followed on alternate Tuesdays by the South Yorkshire Keyboard tea dance or organ recital groups.

Wednesdays are the over 50s gentle exercise and bingo sessions, and Thursday has the Dinnington Local History Group, Dinnington Floral Art Society, Dinnington Fine Arts and Antiques and Dinnington History Group taking turns with their monthly meetings. The Let’s Get Crafty group meets on Fridays.

Outdoors there are two bowling greens, football pitch where Dinnington Town senior and junior teams play, and cricket pitch used by Dinnington Town junior cricket club.

A permanent term time pre-school has its home at the centre, catering for 30 two to four-year-olds, which gives the place a buzz in the mornings.

The community cafe is also well-used. Darron said: “It’s open from 9am to 1.30pm and is popular because the prices are reasonable.”

The three business units at the centre are all let, and the meeting rooms and big hall can be hired for events.

l Anyone wanting to raise money for the resource centre, volunteer, or find out more about any of the events call 518555.