Robert Windle’s Foundation, which owns and has run The Earby Grammar School - now a community centre - since 1599, is endeavouring to raise funds to build a new kitchen in the building.
Used by countless community groups since the school closed in 1911, the Grade II-listed building was originally built using money left by Robert Windle for the people of the parish of Thornton-in-Craven. Now owned and managed by the trustees of Robert Windle’s Foundation, the centre has become a centre of learning, well-being, arts and crafts, and other social exploits.
Located on School Lane in Earby, the building is used by local church groups, hosts weekly yoga classes (with tai-chi classes set to start in September), and is used for craft groups and by a herbalist. Various renovation work has already taken place to redecorate the downstairs and install a fully-accessible toilet thanks to a lottery grant and funding from the Co-op, but now the trustees are looking for donations to re-do the kitchen.
"We the trustees would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have helped us to keep the building in good order," said a statement in their recent newsletter. "Many thanks to you all, we could not do the work without you. If you would like to help us in this work, please get in touch. This could be a donation of unwanted goods to sell, [purchasing] from our Facebook page, helping with coffee mornings and other events, attending one of the groups, or helping with the general up-keep of our wonderful building.
"We hope you can continue to support us to allow us to keep this beautiful building in good order and available for local people to enjoy and to support the local groups," it added.
With space available for hire for small groups, the trustees are also holding an Open Day on Saturday, 24th August from 10am to 2pm featuring refreshments and cakes as well as a car boot sale. They also host coffee mornings on the last Tuesday of every month which also feature bric-a-brac sales.
The money raised is given to local groups working with young people or to local schools in the form of grants - the centre has given out over £2,000 in grants to various local schools and to groups such as the Earby Brass Band, the Guides and Brownies, and local football teams. The rest of the funds will be used to maintain and upgrade building.