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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Carlisle centre manager picks up award after turnaround

David Garlick did not realise he was one of six winners of the 2014 Carlisle Community Awards until two days after the presentation.

David Garlick photo
David Garlick, centre, with colleagues Tot Winstanley and Rachel Colclough

The ceremony was at the end of last week and, despite receiving an invitation to the event, at the Shepherds Inn, Rosehill, the manager of the Belah Community Centre had a commitment to a family wedding.

The awards, now in their 14th year, are made by Carlisle City Council to community champions. But the first David knew about it was when a friend told him he had appeared in our sister newspaper, the News & Star.

David added: “I am delighted – it came as a shock.”

He said that the recognition was good but it represented “a lot of hard work” from his team – Tot Winstanley and Rachel Colclough – as well as the trustees.

David has been manager for just over four years and under his guidance it has gone from strength to strength – so much so that there are now plans to extend it to meet demand.

David also goes beyond the call of duty, regularly putting in twice his paid hours to ensure the wellbeing of the centre and its users.

He said: “It’s like any other community centre, you have got to put the hard work in.

“I enjoy what I do and I hope that reflects in the user groups.”

A wide range of groups regularly use the centre, with between 2,500 and 3,000 people coming through its doors every month.

Activities include nursery groups, Zumba, a breast feeding support group, health clinics, Weight Watchers, a budgie club, a ukulele group, Stanwix FC, a Scrabble group and fitness groups.

David said the building was refurbished around four years ago and the modern facilities were what the public needed.

He said: “Before I came here the old community centre was not fit for purpose. Riverside gave us some money and we got to redevelop the centre.”

Plans to extend the centre, by adding an extra room, are necessary because organisers are finding that they are having to turn groups away.

He said they were looking for grant funding and he had been given the go-ahead to commission an architect.

The Rev Barrie Thomas, a former vicar who helped lead the transformation of the Raffles estate, was also recognised as an award winner.

The 59-year-old former pastor recently stepped down from his role at the Church of Nazarene in Moorhouse Road and the community church in Shadygrove Road to concentrate on running Community Reach Raffles, which works across the west of the city.

He has been working in Raffles for 16 years, with his efforts previously receiving national recognition.

Kevin Clapperton, of Meadow View in Harraby, was also honoured at last Thursday’s civic dinner at The Shepherds Inn, Rosehill.

The 50-year-old created a website – harrabyinteractive historyproject.weebly.com – about the history of the estate. It has been a worldwide success, with thousands of hits every week.

Stella Hazard has been a role model for generations of Stanwix girls for 60 years as part of her involvement with the Girls’ Friendly Society (GFS), a Church of England organisation.

Ray McBride has been honoured for his achievements throughout the county in developing sport for wheelchair users.

He volunteers at the Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club (CWSC), set up by his daughter, Mel Pattinson, five years ago.

The sixth community champion was Gillian Potts, chairman of the Cumberland Show, who was instrumental in the relocation of the show from Rickerby Park to Carlisle racecourse.

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