Cherished Letchworth community centre set for grand reopening following months of closure due to flooding

The Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre is having a grand reopening on Saturday.

The Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre is having a grand reopening on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

A community centre cherished as a second home to its members hosts a grand reopening on Saturday after being closed for four months due to flash flooding over the summer.

The Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre, which gives more than 100 older people companionship, hot meals and a host of activities, had to close its doors in the wake of flash floods which hit the area in July, but it is back in business just in time for the much-loved Christmas Fair.

And the big event will serve as a welcome reminder about what’s been missing in recent months as members were relocated elsewhere in the town while staff wrestled with insurance claims and dehumidifiers.

In spite of the flood damage to the Norton Way South centre, the spirit of the community was by no means dampened.

The Howard Cottage Housing Association, St Paul’s Church, Howard Garden Bowls Club and the Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation all provided alternative space, while volunteers sprang into action to raise funds in the town centre.

Centre administrator Bryn Roberts, who has spent much of the past four months holding the fort at Howard Garden, said: “There have been so many phone calls with various people over the past few months, so it is great for everything to finally be in place for our official reopening.

“It has been manic and tricky, but it has been amazing to see people I haven’t seen for months back in the centre.

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“The desire to move back here has been so great and everyone is very happy to be here to see the difference that has been made since the floods.”

District councillor Lorna Kercher, who chairs the centre’s trustees, said: “The place looks lovely with a new carpet and painted walls.

“Everybody is so glad to be back, as they have all been asking for months about when they would be moving back in.

“We are so grateful for all of the support we have had from volunteers and the donations we have received.

“People do not realise the huge range of people that come to the centre and the amount of activities which take place here.”

Saturday’s fair runs between 10am and 2pm. Admission is 50p, but children under 10 get in for free.