This week the Mardyke Community Centre in South Hornchurch announced it would receive a £20,000 grant from ‘Clarion Futures’ the charity branch of Clarion Housing Group.  

The community centre has played an important role in the lives of local residents at Orchard Village for many years. In normal times the Centre provides a range of community activities such as bingo evenings, IT classes, after school clubs, knit and natter sessions, and historically it has been the hub where residents of the estate seek advice, help, and support.

Since the first lockdown in March 2020 the centre has been providing severely reduced services in line with restrictions. This has had a harsh impact on their ability to meet running costs. These issues were brought to the attention of Jon Cruddas MP who has a close working relationship with the centre and regularly liaises with them through Labour Action Team member Trevor McKeever.

Last year Trevor McKeever, who is also the Health and Safety Advisor on the community centre committee facilitated conversations between Jon Cruddas MP and Clarion Housing Group to make the case for financial support.

Trevor McKeever said: “I’m glad I could play a part in securing this funding. Orchard Village wouldn’t be the same without the community centre, which is a real anchor for local people. I’ve been involved in their work for a number of years now and if the centre was to close it would have a devastating impact on the community. The area is really important to me and I will continue to do all I can to support residents and the Mardyke Community Centre.”

Jon Cruddas MP added: “the survival of the Mardyke Community Centre is absolutely vital for the residents of Orchard Village. This generous grant funding from Clarion through their charitable branch is a real lifeline and shows their commitment to the community. The centre provides an engaging range of activities and the team are incredibly dedicated to improving the lives of local people. This is a real good news story.”