THERE’S a new manager in town at King Arthurs Hall, and she’s spreading the word about how the community centre is a “lovely little oasis” welcome to all.

Verity Ballantyne-Cook has joined the community hub with “a million ideas” but ultimately wants as many people to benefit from the hall which she believes can get overlooked.

From an over 50s group to street dance classes and job club, the tucked away venue at King Arthurs Way is jam-packed with weekly classes, and is available to hire for events.

Former asset manager Verity started her new role in October and is looking to take the community centre to the next level.

Verity said: “Before I came they had a good set-up in place, I want to do an even better job.

“One of the things with King Arthurs Hall is it is a bit set back. It is a community centre that two months since I started, I had people come to events say ‘I didn’t know this existed’ and that is what I want to change.

“Currently people say there’s Picket Twenty and Augusta Park community centres because they’re new. I want them to say, ‘there is King Arthurs Way’.

“This lovely little oasis of King Arthurs Way actually does exist, it is a great size hall for birthday parties, weekly classes and more.”

The site, funded by Alamein Community Association, has also hosted wedding receptions and is a popular spot for christening parties according to Verity.

The new manager also wants to make sure prices are able to stay low for residents while she also recognises that will be one of the biggest challenges.

Currently some events in the hall are free and most others keep the price under £5 for a session.

The cost to hire the hall is £15 per hour.

The mother-of-one added: “It’s difficult finding the funding, it’s going to be one of the biggest challenges is making sure we can get money to keep the hall running and be able to keep the cost down to hire the hall.”

Last year figures showed around 5,500 people used the hall and Verity is now rising to the task of upping the numbers to more than 7,000 for 2019.

Even if it is for a cup of tea and a chat, Verity wants the hall to be a place everyone feels welcome, and the site is always looking for volunteers.

She said: “We live in a tough world all of us who are involved in the hall, we want it to be a place people can come for help no matter what their issue and we can help somehow.”

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