THE ANSELL CENTRE CHARITY (ACC) was set up in 2004 as a charity with the object of providing community facilities for the people of Hadleigh and surrounding area. It is a private company limited by guarantee (Reg. no. 05334314) and also has charitable status (Charity no. 1111332). The ACC has six trustees encompassing a wide range of interests including community, church, local authority, professional, business and retired. Membership of the ACC is open to anyone who is interested in the work of the charity. Currently there are over thirty members, all of whom are either active volunteers or people to whom we can turn for professional advice when needed.
The ACC runs the digital cinema (Hollywood in Hadleigh), two lunch clubs, the Ansell Luncheon Club for senior citizens on the first Friday of each month and the Wednesday Lunch Club on the third Wednesday of the month and the Ansell Memories Cafe which is held every Thursday. The ACC also organises community events such as “The Hidden Gardens of Hadleigh” and, together with churches in Hadleigh, festivals such as the Christmas Tree, the “Love is…..” and the “Peace is……” Festivals. Most of these activities are held in the Ansell Centre (see below). The ACC is run entirely by volunteers who are working closely with the United Reformed Church to improve the facilities in the Ansell Centre.
THE ANSELL CENTRE, comprising hall, ancillary rooms, kitchen and toilets is owned by the Hadleigh United Reformed Church (URC). The building is now named after its founder, John Ansell, a wealthy 19th century local business man and ‘Independent’ church man. The Ansell Centre was built in 1863 as a day school for the poorer children of the area who would otherwise have received no education and continues in trust today with the URC to serve the needs of the community.
During 2010 the URC completed the first stage of a major project to upgrade the building and bring it up to a high standard of accommodation. In 2010, £95,000 was spent on repairs to the roof, floor and windows, including the complete replacement of five windows. In 2013 the entrance, kitchen and toilets were completely refurbished. A new suspended ceiling, LED lights, central heating boiler and new curtains with electric curtain tracks were installed during August as a joint project between the URC and ACC.