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Cambridge City Council

Her Majesty The Queen makes royal visit to Cambridge community centre

2 February 2024

Her Majesty The Queen at Meadows Community Centre
The Mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood dancing with Johannes Radebe
Her Majesty The Queen being served a cup of tea at Meadows Community Centre

This morning, Her Majesty The Queen, visited the Meadows Community Centre, Cambridge, where Royal Voluntary Service has a café, to celebrate its volunteers.

Her Majesty was joined by Julie Spence OBE, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, Mayor of Cambridge, Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service, Royal Voluntary Service café volunteers, students of St. Laurence Catholic Primary School, Cllr Rachel Wade, Executive Councillor for Communities, Cllr Gerri Bird, Executive Councillor for Housing and Homelessness, Sam Scharf, Director of Communities at Cambridge City Council, Ben Binns, Assistant Director of Development Agency at Cambridge City Council, Tom Hill, Managing Director at The Hill Group, and the Meadows Community Centre staff.

Tasha Ghouri and Johannes Radebe, celebrities and Royal Voluntary Service Supporters, led ballroom and tap-dancing lessons, which Her Majesty enjoyed alongside the volunteers and guests at the Nigel Gawthrope Performance and Art's Hall. The hall is named in honor the Cllr Gawthrope Wood’s late husband, Nigel, who was also Mayor of Cambridge and a city councillor. The visit also included a tour of the community centre facilities.

Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, The Mayor of Cambridge, said: “It is wonderful to see Her Majesty The Queen visiting the café at our Meadows Community Centre.

“The ballroom and tap-dancing lessons were very enjoyable. Like Her Majesty, I am a keen dancer. It is great to have a new memory in the hall named in commemoration of Nigel, especially as he was a lover of music and dance.

“The local volunteers and the Royal Voluntary Service café should be proud of themselves – they dedicate their own time to supporting such great causes. They are a valued asset to the community, and we are pleased to have them here at our community centre.”

The community centre opened in October of last year and is part of The Meadows and Buchan Street development. This is a Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) project – CIP is a partnership between Cambridge City Council and housebuilder Hill to deliver new homes in the city.

The sustainable community centre is designed to provide residents with access to valuable resources and a place to come together. It includes a state-of-the-art double-height hall, a family centre, a youth wing, the café run by Royal Voluntary Service, a pre-school, and bookable meeting rooms.

As part of the development 28 one and two-bedroom council-rent apartments will be delivered at Buchan Street, while a total of 78 one and two-bedroom apartments for council rent will be delivered at The Meadows.

Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, added: “It is always a pleasure to come and visit the Meadows Community Centre. You can really see how it benefits the local community and how they make use of the great facilities available. I look forward to seeing how the community centre continues to uplift the local community.”