TUCKED away at the southern end of Tunbridge Wells is a community centre which has been working for the people of Showfields and Ramslye for more than 20 years.
Run by the Number One Trust, it offers an open door for anyone to drop in, for contact with other people, for friendship and for local social activities. There is a highly popular pre-school for little ones, youth club three evenings a week, regular art and craft sessions, the famously friendly Young at Heart club for senior citizens – all next door to the local library.
2012 is proving to be a great year for Number One. The cafe, which has always been the hub of the centre, has been completely revamped, and was re-opened at the end of May by Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark, under its new name, Cafe Refresh.
It offers superb homemade food, ranging from coffee and teas and cold drinks, through tasty snacks to full-scale hearty meals – and all at prices which cannot be bettered.
Service is available from 8am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday, and on Saturday mornings.
Regular outings are organised to places of interest, and there are quizzes for those who enjoy mental challenges, as well as bingo evenings and celebrations on bank holidays and a monthly Sunday afternoon service for all-important reflection on the spiritual side of life.
There's something for everyone; but of course it costs money. The centre receives some financial support from statutory and charitable fund-granting bodies, but it has to supplement this with its own fundraising activities.
So the next big event this year is a concert tomorrow (June 16) at 7pm in St Mark's Church in Broadwater Down.
The Thurrock Male Voice Choir is making the trip from Essex to provide a varied programme of favourites old and new, interspersed with musical items from impressively-talented local artists Howard Greening and Catherine and Elizabeth Millar.
Tickets are available at the door, and will include liquid refreshment in the interval. It promises to be an evening of great entertainment, not to be missed for anything.
But that's not all – Number One plans to stage a mini Olympics event at the centre on July 21, when the highlight will be the chance to see the Olympic Torch.
Local sporting enthusiast Jamie Johnson has been selected to carry the Flame in Sevenoaks the day before, so there is likely to be a big turn-out to cheer it on its way, and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be associated with it in our own town.
Number One may not have been widely known in the past but it is certainly making the headlines now.
Thank you very much for this deeply appreciated help with this very worthy local cause.