Driffield News

‘Things are going to change at the Community Centre’

Driffield Community Centre has a new administrator who has told the Wolds Weekly she is confident that her wealth of experience, which saw her responsible for some of the world’s most iconic buildings, will help increase bookings at the facility.

Mary Wells started her new role on 1st April following the retirement of Phil Stocker and she is tasked with getting the centre back up and running after the various COVID-19 lockdowns.

She has lived in the Capital of the Wolds for the last four years, having moved to the area with husband Stephen, currently chairman of the Driffield and Wolds u3a.

Mary comes into the role with an impressive CV.

This is the hub of the community as far as I am concerned, but it’s not being utilised as it should be.

mary wells

She started her working life with the BBC in the news department, working on programmes such as Panorama.

After marriage, Mary and her family moved to South Africa, where she entered the world of credit management and was named Credit Manager of the Year for the province of Natal.

Upon her return to the UK in 1999, Mary joined a firm of international consulting engineers and was responsible for structures such as the Burj Kalifa in Dubai, The Shard and Millennium Bridge in London and Sydney Opera House.

Whilst Driffield Community Centre may not be quite as well-known as the previously-mentioned buildings, Mary is just as passionate about making it a success.

Currently, the centre is used regularly by various subgroups of the u3a, dance classes and church groups, among others.

However, Mary believes that the three rooms at the Mill Street venue have much more potential.
“Things are going to change at the Community Centre and already are,” she said.

“My role is about looking after the finances of the centre, dealing with the bookings and, most importantly, marketing the place.

“This is the hub of the community as far as I am concerned, but it’s not being utilised as it should be.

“COVID hit the venue quite hard, as people were unable to meet, which was a great pity.

“We’re going to renovate the venue, spruce it up and give it a better look.

“We can offer just about everything here. I would like to see it used on a more regular basis for birthday parties, meetings and for any local businesses which would like to have a conference here.

“We have audio-visual equipment, the space to lay out tables and chairs, whether that’s conference or theatre-style, a stage fully-equipped with lighting and built-in Wi-Fi.

“There is also a fully-functioning kitchen, which we don’t charge any extra for and allow people to provide catering.

“As well as the main hall, we have the committee room, used by Driffield Town Council for meetings, which is quite formal, but pleasant and comfortable, with an intimate atmosphere.

“There is also the small hall, which has a concrete floor and is suitable for table tennis and activities that aren’t suitable for a carpeted room.”

A new website and email address have been created for the Community Centre, where enquiries and bookings can be made, whilst Mary will be available via phone outside her allotted office hours.

She’s confident that the venue will become a place that the people of Driffield and the Wolds start to use on a regular basis.

“Gradually, the centre will become what it should – a good facility for the town to meet in,” said Mary.

“When I was offered the role, initially I wasn’t interested, but then I thought I could do something with the centre and make it a success.”

For more information about Driffield Community Centre, visit driffieldcommunitycentre.org or email driffieldcommunitycentre@gmail.com.

The Community Centre is open during the following times:

● Monday – 2-4:30pm

● Wednesday – 2-4:30pm

● Friday – 2-4:30pm

Other times will be available by appointment.

During office hours, Mary can be contacted on 01377 254182, whilst she can be reached on 07521 795688 between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

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