Community centre is cooking on gas after £3,000 oven donation

Ben Metcalfe, from XLCR Vehicle Management, with freshly cooked Yorkshire puddings straight out of the new oven at St Joseph's Community Centre in Barnoldswick (s)
Ben Metcalfe, from XLCR Vehicle Management, with freshly cooked Yorkshire puddings straight out of the new oven at St Joseph's Community Centre in Barnoldswick (s)
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A kind-hearted Colne businessman has dished out thousands of pounds to ensure Christmas dinner can be served at a Barnoldswick community centre.

Lee Duerden, chief executive of XLCR Vehicle Management, played the role of Father Christmas when he dug deep into his pockets to pay £3,000 for the top of the range oven at St Joseph’s Community Centre after the flame went out on the existing cooker.

Volunteers at St Joseph's Community Centre in Barnoldswick are very grateful to XLCR Vehicle Management after the company funded a new oven (s)

Volunteers at St Joseph's Community Centre in Barnoldswick are very grateful to XLCR Vehicle Management after the company funded a new oven (s)

News of the broken oven sparked fears among volunteers at the Bolland Street centre that they may not be able to serve up the special Christmas dinner to lonely locals on Christmas Day, as well as at the weekly Thursday Luncheon Club.

But doubts over whether or not dinner could be served soon went cold when Mr Duerden stepped in to fund the new oven.

Coun. Jennifer Purcell said: “All the volunteers at St Joseph’s Community Centre in Barnoldswick are overwhelmed by Lee and XLCR for their kind generosity.

“This community centre gives so much pleasure to the needy in our community and we could not do these things without their kindness and help.

“Once again, thank you for your generosity.”

The centre began life as a school which opened in 1914, and has been renovated over a four year period, relying solely on grant funding and donations.

Over the course of the refurbishment, the centre has had a new kitchen, a new entrance, double glazed windows and doors, re-plastered walls and roof improvements.