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The community centre in Wadebridge offering a safe space to people of all ages

Tucked away in a peaceful corner of Wadebridge, what was once the railway station for the town is now known as the John Betjeman Centre, home to Concern Wadebridge.

Run by manager Emma Burt and her wonderful team of volunteers, Concern Wadebridge is a charity to support people over 50 in the area, but the John Betjeman Centre can be used by groups and people of all ages.

Emma told Wadebridge Life: “Concern Wadebridge is a charity to support the over 50s, but the building - the John Betjeman Centre - can be used for all ages, as long as any funds raised from this is used to benefit the over 50s. So it’s really nice to be able to support everyone in the town!”

In the 80s, the centre underwent a huge refurbishment to give the railway station a new lease of life. It was officially opened in 1991 as the John Betjeman Centre, and received a further £450,000 for refurbishment in 2018, including new toilets, community cafe and kitchen - which was packed to the rafters when Wadebridge Life popped along to visit on a sunny afternoon in July. Homemade cakes, delicious paninis and leisurely coffees are just a few of the options served at the cafe, which has an extensive menu and is the perfect place to meet with friends or to pop by for a quiet drink.

Just some of the groups that meet at the centre include Wadebridge Memory Cafe, supporting people in the community living with forms of memory loss; Coasters for All, which provides accessible group bike rides on the Camel Trail between March and November; Pop-up and Play Village (for children); Golden Oldies Singing Group, which gives its members - many of which live with dementia or have learning difficulties - the opportunity to sing along and reminisce to songs from the ‘Golden Era’ of music; Wadebridge Cancer Cafe, which welcomes people who have cancer or have been affected by cancer to have a cup of tea, a cry and a cuddle if they need it; Cuppa Companions, which is run by Pentreath and encourages people to talk about their mental health; a wellness hub and a number of exercise and craft groups. There have been lots of community events too, including bingo, table top sales and more.

In addition to being a central point for community groups and people to come together, Concern Wadebridge provides walkers and mobility scooters to visitors and local people for a small charge. The scooters can be used on the Camel Trail for those wanting to accompany their family on an adventure, getting to Padstow, Bodmin and back, or can be simply used around the town for a leisurely wander around the shops.

Another addition to the centre is the wellness project, which has a number of workshops aimed at people with short or long-term health conditions including anxiety and depression. Referrals can be made by Pentreath, and the project provides a number of therapies for all wellbeing needs.

During the lockdowns of 2020-2021, the centre had to diversify to meet the community’s needs and offered ‘meals on wheels’ at lunchtimes, seven days a week for those who were isolating, were unable to get out to get some provisions or just needed a bit of help with their meals during a difficult time. People would also be able to ring the team with their shopping lists and would then receive a delivery with their items.

Emma said: “We can go from helping someone at the end of their life, to someone who doesn’t know where to turn. We help people who are over 50 and we help people who are over 18 - we try to be there for everyone. The centre is a building for young people too, so it’s another venue for them to come to if they need it.”

With free parking, rooms with multimedia facilities and plenty of space, a snug, friendly cafe area and so much more to offer, the centre is the perfect place to meet friends, come together with like-minded people and enjoy the wonderful sense of community that echoes through the team and centre.

As well as plenty of group activities and events coming up this autumn, including the Wadebridge Community Day on Saturday 29th October, 10am-3pm, the next big event in the Concern Wadebridge calendar is the Christmas lunch in December!

For more information about Concern Wadebridge and the John Betjeman Centre, call 01208 812392 or email


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