Take a glimpse into a former Worksop library being transformed into a community hub

Building work is well underway to transform a historic former library in Worksop into a community hub.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 10:51 am

Aurora Wellbeing, a cancer charity operating across Bassetlaw and South Yorkshire, is transforming the Grade II listed building, on Memorial Avenue, where it has been based since 2014.

Backed by Bassetlaw District Council and a £1.8million grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the renovations are set to be finished in September

Once completed it will feature a tea room, charity shop, beauty treatment rooms and areas for exercise, counselling and wellbeing practitioners.

Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre
Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre

The charity provides support for anyone affected by cancer diagnosis or a long-term health condition, including their family members and carers.

But Aurora manager Debra Fores stressed that the building will be open to everyone.

"It is a community hub for everyone to use, but there will be specific services available for cancer patients,” she said.

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Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre

"People can come in and have a cup of tea, look around the shop and see what else we have on offer.”

Central to the building will be a new dedicated heritage area and virtual museum will be created to tell the story of the building and give people the opportunity to connect with the history of Worksop.

Heritage engagement officer for Aurora, Ruthie Boys, said the Arundel Marble, known locally as the Worksop Torso, will have pride of place in the heritage hub.

The virtual museum will feature 100 objects, which are been chosen and photographed by volunteer curators, and also a huge display cabinet featuring items from Bassetlaw Museum that are linked to Worksop.

Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre, the new cafe area

“There isn’t a person in Worksop that doesn’t have a memory of this building. It is so exciting to see it being transformed,” added Ruthie.

There will also be a new children’s area thanks Sarah and Chris Johnson, from Worksop.

The couple and their team of supporters have been raised almost £50,000 by running the length of Hadrian’s Wall in just four days in their Run the Wall event.

Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre, the old reference library and later Aurora cafe

Sarah, who has suffered with breast cancer, wanted to extend the services Aurora offers to support children whose parents have been diagnosed with cancer.

Aurora has continued to provide services in the community during the pandemic and has moved its team room and charity shop to a temporary base on Bridge Street, in the town centre.

Debra said as the completion date nears, excitement is building .

She added: “I have been on this journey with this building since 2011.

"I desperately wanted this project to come to fruition because it’s for the local community, not only for cancer patients.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre, work underway on the new kitchen
Progress of building work at the Aurora Wellbeing Centre, treatment rooms and storage