Pill rallies to keep Millennium Centre centre open
12:20pm Saturday 12th January 2013 in Gwent news
A WELL-LOVED city community centre is set to reopen on Monday after members of the community rallied together.
Six people either from or with roots in Pill have agreed to take over the running of the trust that operates the Pill Millennium Centre.
A campaign to raise funds to keep it going has started and a website set up for donations has already attracted just under £700 in donations.
It is believed that they have enough pledges of funding to keep the place going for two months.
Police had been due to secure the building on Monday but instead it will be opened by volunteers with a new programme is set to be published shortly.
Chief executive of the South East Wales Racial Equality Council Dave Phillips, who is now treasurer of the Pill Milllennium Centre Trust board, said: "4000 people joined a Facebook page on the Pill Mill in less than a week.
"That shows how important the Pill Mill is to the community down there - it's used by every section of the community."
Pill man Ali Boksh, who is now acting as chairman of the trust, paid tribute to retiring board members who had fought for a long time to keep the centre in the community.
"The new board will be working just as hard to build on their work and to take the centre forward," he said.
"We are predominantly members of the community who are prepared to do whatever is needed."
Mr Boksh, 34, who is also chairman of Pill Carnival, chairman of Urban Circle and works in the voluntary sector, said they will begin to approach businesses that have pledged cash on Monday.
He said £2,500 is needed every month to pay bills at the centre a month.
He said the group has a number of ideas to raise cas and in one case a member of the public has offered a donation of £1,000.
Bernard Sefton, former vice-chairman of the trust, said the former board of the trust handed over to the new one at a meeting on Thursday.
Mr Sefton, who is staying on as a voluntary manager, said: "We felt in order to get more support from the public sector that they would prefer a completely new board to take place.
"I would have loved to have stayed but I felt its best for the future of the community centre and that's what we have been fighting for."
To visit the Justgiving page visit http://bit.ly/VXkULH.
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