A SPENNYMOOR church community centre which saw more than 30,000 people pass through its doors last year has been recognised for achieving good practice.

The St Paul’s Centre was presented with a level one Hallmark Award today (Monday, March 17) for managing and operating the building at a nationally recognised standard.

The Hallmark scheme, organised by Action with Communities in Rural England and operated by Durham Community Action, rewards community centres and village halls for establishing good practice.

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To receive the level one award, the centre was assessed on its management and administrative procedures, to ensure it complied with its charitable status requirements.

It is now working towards levels two and three which will examine in more detail the role the centre plays in interacting with its users and the wider community.

Maureen Aspey, chairwoman of the centre management team, said: “Since its refurbishment, the St Paul’s Centre has been on a journey of working towards building a community centre where all are welcome, friendships can be made, and support offered through various activities.

“We are delighted to receive the level one Hallmark Award as it has helped the centre’s directors focus on running the centre both efficiently and effectively.”

The St Paul’s Centre re-opened in 2010 after a £450,000 revamp and offers visitors a wide range of activities throughout the week and is home to a popular community café.

A Durham Christian Partnership Foodbank, run by local volunteers operates once a week.