A COMMUNITY centre offering mental health support, parental guidance and police meet-ups has opened its doors to the public with a special launch event.

The Witham Community Hub, based at Newlands Shopping Centre, has been officially opened after a £24,000 fundraising push to secure its future.

It offers mental health workshops, a book club, art workshop, police and public meet-ups, help with using social media and a group for new and expecting parents – among other things.

The hub’s Tina Townsend said: “The hub is a place where people can feel safe and where they can get help and not feel socially isolated.

“Long-term, the plan is to have many different things going on there and we want all of them to add up to create something really special.

“It’s been a massive amount of work which has gone into this. We’ve had four dedicated people working on it doing things like painting and taking out rubbish and we’re still doing that now.”

Earlier this year the hub hit its £24,000 fundraising target to secure its lease thanks to donations from residents, business and local authorities.

Some Braintree district councillors used their grant scheme cash to contribute more than £2,000 to the cause while Essex County Council donated £10,000.

County council leader David Finch attended the launch and paid tribute to those behind the centre. He said: “Essex County Council knew about the community hub because of work we are doing with local Facebook community groups.

“It was through this work that Tina, the admin of the Witham Facebook group, reached out to us to see if we could support the community hub with any funding and I’m pleased to say we have been able to contribute £10,000 towards the lease on their unit.

“I thoroughly enjoyed meeting some of the people behind the hub – those who are making positive change for their community and supporting residents to improve their lives and well-being. It truly is an inspirational space and I wish everyone involved every success.”