The fight is on to save a much-loved community centre which has stood in the heart of north Downham for the past 76 years.

Goldsmiths Community Centre on Castillon Road is under threat of permanent closure after being hit by funding cuts, against the demand of maintaining an ageing building desperately in need of an upgrade.

In a bid to raise a much-needed cash injection, members of the community who use the centre have produced a 15-minute film explaining why it means so much to them.


Liz Wood, chair of Goldsmiths Community Association, first discovered the centre when she moved to the area 26 years ago.

Having settled in north Downham after travelling with her career as a dancer, Ms Wood said Goldsmiths Community Centre was a lifeline for her as an isolated, young mum.

She said: "In this current climate of austerity, fear of terrorism and reduced access to open spaces, the value of community centres such as Goldsmiths in bringing people together cannot be underestimated.

"If the centre closes it will be lost for ever and the land almost certainly sold for development."

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Lewisham MP Heidi Alexander features in the film.

The ground floor of the building is now safe for public use and funds have been secured for removal of asbestos in the loft.

But in order to survive, the centre now needs funds to be restored and updated, as well as to employ quality staff to continue providing the essential services and ensure the facility remains at the heart of the community for generations to come.

The film documents residents young and old who cherish the community centre and everything it offers, from healthcare and advice to sports facilities and education.

Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander, who also features in the film, said: "We need to work together to find ways in which we can raise funds to make sure we can breathe some life back into this fantastic building."

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