The Charles Burrell Centre came first in the ‘Most Enterprising Organization’ category thanks to its work transforming the former High School into a multi-purpose hub providing a home for more than 40 permanent tenants and dozens of regular weekly bookings.

‘Locality’ supports community organisations to be strong and successful. They have more than 600 members UK wide which benefit from specialist advice, peer learning and campaigning support.

Mike Brindle, Chairman of the Charles Burrell Centre Ltd Board of Directors said; “We are delighted with this award. It is testament to the hard work of all our staff, board members and volunteers and of course the support that we have received from the local community. We originally set up to save a much loved former high school but through Charles Burrell Centre we’ve been able to do so much more and provide a whole range of new services to benefit local residents”.

The award recognises the enterprising nature of the Centre which receives no regular financial support from either local Councils or the Government. The Centre has been successful with some grant funding applications lately but the vast majority of its income has been raised through trading – primarily the renting of rooms on a permanent and sessional basis. This year, the Centre established two limited companies trading on a commercial basis, but reinvesting profits back into the local community. The Engine Room (Thetford) provides the community café service at the Centre but is also available for buffets and external catering services. The Forge (Thetford) Ltd is a grounds and general maintenance company providing services to local residents, school and businesses. The Engine Room and The Forge also provides training and work experience opportunities for local people and work closely in partnership with the Centre’s Full Steam Ahead service.

A spokeperson for Locality said; “The Locality Awards celebrate the most dedicated and inspiring people and organisations in the Locality network. They step in when others look away, they fill a need that’s not being met, and create spaces at the heart of our communities where lives are transformed”

Recently the Centre has been holding wekday events to help combat lonliness adn isolation thrugh the #SpaceToConnect Programme, with a wide variety of events on offer form chair based excercise, to crafts, talks and bingo! All aimed at getting people out into the community and connecting with one another.