Party to celebrate Austerfield centre’s first year

An archealogical dig with Louise Elliot at the Austerfield Centre.
An archealogical dig with Louise Elliot at the Austerfield Centre.

Marking a successful first year as a social enterprise was the Austerfield Study Centre which held a party to thank everyone involved in turning the future of the facility around.

After the near closure of the centre in 2013 it has managed to survive through the hard work of volunteers and financial funders and the passion of the community.

Much work has been undertaken to refresh and refurbish the building bringing it upto modern standards, to enable it to continue providing valuable environmental education to school children and community groups alike.

A spokesman said: “The threat of closure clearly touched the hearts of the public as many of them had attended the centre as children, as did their children in the years to follow.

“This has been shown through the tireless support of many.

“Equipment, money and time has been so generously given this year and now the centre is a real focal point, a meeting place, a community centre and an ever stronger environmental education centre as it was for 40 years previous.”

The party marked this achievement and even though it was not aimed at being a fundraiser, donations exceeded £700, with 350 guests attending.

Children were able to enjoy crafts with Susan Forbes, a falconry experience with Hawks of Steele, an archealogical dig with Louise Elliot, a bouncy castle provided by The Mayflower School and games galore made possible by the community.

Organic vegetables and honey from Pollybell Organics were on offer and Deli 21 of Tickhill provided tasters for all, with The Ship Inn at Newington offering a barbecue.

Entertainment was provided by Austerfield band ‘Roote’ and The Hayfield School choir, in particular 16-year-old Emma Spencer who silenced the crowd with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream.

The spokesman added: “Her song seemed perfectly apt for the day as a year ago the future of the centre seemed like such a dream to many but this year has turned those dreams into reality and with the continued support of the public there is a bright future ahead.”

Thanks were given to all those who attended.