My name is Robert Evans and about 25 years ago i along with my wife jean and a friend Jackie Loveridge took over the running of a Bingo club on our estate Brookside after the people running it decided to call it a day. We thought it important to keep this running so locals could meet once a week to play bingo have a chat and a laugh. We called ourselves Brookside Friendly Club at the time we had a large membership of over one hundred people and met each Monday. Over the years our membership has fallen due to people passing away moving out of area and changing lifestyles. We also faced competition from bingo halls and local public houses. So again we talked about closing down, but the people who had come all these years in all weathers to play bingo have a chat and look out for each other asked us not only to carry on but to add one more night for them. So now we open Monday and Friday. We have each year been able to put on a Christmas party and give each member a small present. We also have managed a day trip out on a couple of occasions, but risinf costs made it look like we may not be able to continue running the club.
We were struggling with the cost of room hire purchasing bingo books etc. we dreaded the thought of the bingo machine breaking down but for some members the thought of closing was very sad news and something we did not want to do. The Five Hundred Pound Grant. A few months ago i met up with a lad i used to work with his name is Leigh Rickets he told me about Big Local and said i should apply for a grant to help us continue. What a difference this has made after we were allocated out grant. We have no worries about room hire costs and we have started to advertise for new members. The grant will help us pay for bingo books purchase Tea and Coffee and cold drinks it has also eased the worry about the bingo machine breaking down. We are taking our members out for a Christmas Meal and hope to have a day out next year at a reduced cost., But most importantly it means our club mostly made up of O.A.P's can continue and hopefully grow again, All this is due to your help and the grant you gave us. ThankYou for you help. R.Evans

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