History (from 2011)
Blind and partially-sighted people are about to lose the social centre which has been their meeting place for almost 20 years.
Members of the AVIC centre – the Able-bodied Visually Impaired Club – took over the meeting place, off Moore Road, in Barwell, from the YMCA and refurbished it in 1992.
About five years ago, the lease on the building was taken on by Leicestershire blind charity Vista. The charity has now decided to consolidate Barwell with other local groups in Hinckley and end the AVIC lease.
The Barwell group has been asked to leave by the end of March. Members are so upset they have decided to run their group separately, based at premises they have secured at The Barn, in Kirkby Road, Barwell.
Leader June Robinson said the group started in 1984 and five of the original members still attended. Volunteer Maureen Walsh said: “They all enjoy coming and have a good time.”
Marjorie Moore, 78, of Burbage, said: “It means a lot coming here. We get together and have a laugh and a joke.”
The Hinckley and Bosworth groups will be run at the United Reformed Church, in Hinckley, from April 8.
Vista finance director John Lewis said: “The new venue will enable Vista to develop these groups very positively.”
Jubilee Hall (formerly the AVIC Centre) has been refurbished. The Hall has a fully equipped kitchen and a large 75x125m hall to accommodate 100 people. The venue is available to hire with competitive rates for community groups, commercial businesses and private hires such as birthday parties.
The group had their final meeting on 16 December 2015 when June Robinson was presented with a bouquet from Barwell Parish Council and another from the remaining members of the group. Maureen was also presented with a bouquet.
A group of 16 members and volunteer and helpers then went to the Barn for a final Christmas Party.
The group funds were presented to a Dogs Charity and Rainbows.