A COMMUNITY centre in Colchester’s Greenstead estate will stay open longer and offer more activities after a flood of volunteers has come forward.

The Greenstead Community Centre, in Hawthorn Avenue, opened six years ago with six members of staff.

The centre, offering activities from kickboxing to knitting, has always relied on volunteers.

Now, thanks to a record number of residents offering to help out, it will be staying open until 5pm every week day, instead of 3pm.

Toni Knights, activities co-ordinator, said there would also be more events and activities.

She said: “It is fantastic news for the community. We have 13 volunteers now, which means we can do so much more at the centre.

“It was such a shame having to close at 3pm because mums and dads would pick their children up from school and not be able to come in. The centre is right at the heart of the Greenstead estate and we are always busy with young families, children, teenagers and older people.”

“Now we can do so much more and we would be happy to hear from the community about what activities they would like to see here.”

The community centre, which has ten part-time employees, will now expand its food and drinks menu thanks to more people willing to help out at the cafe and in the kitchen.