A POPULAR community hub in the heart of Dudley town centre is starting the New Year with a £5,292.57 cash boost thanks to the News.

Over the last few months charities and organisations were given the chance to apply for funding from The Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of Gannett Co Inc – the American parent company of Dudley News owners Newsquest Media Group.

And Time Step Community Hub, which offers a variety of free and discounted community classes from its Plaza Malls base, has been awarded the money to help spruce up the centre with new soft training mats, carpet, chairs and partitioning sections, as well as creating a public coffee bar area.

Vicky Parkinson, voluntary centre manager, said: “This is fantastic news. The money will make such an immediate difference to all the groups who use the facilities, making it look more professional.

“We would have had to fundraise to make that sort of money, which would have taken a while, so we are really grateful to the News.”

Launched by Vicky in 2009 as a small community dance project, Time Step has quickly grown to a large centre which is regularly accessed by more than 200 people each week.

The hub runs a variety of sessions and classes for people of all ages, including playgroups, dance groups, cheerleading, breastfeeding support, martial arts, slimming clubs, adult education, exercise groups and holiday clubs.

The voluntary organisation also provides facilities for a number of borough support groups including Dudley Centre for Inclusive Living, Dudley Mind and Dudley Stop Smoking.

Dudley News editor, Paul Walker, said: “We are delighted this money will give a helping hand to the Time Step Community Hub.

“Situated in the heart of Dudley town centre, the Hub carries out fantastic work in bringing together the community through a wide range of invaluable activities and projects.”

For more information about Time Step call Vicky on 07936 718478 or visit timestepcommunityhub.co.uk