Our Story

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Our Story2023-09-07T11:05:08+00:00
Mayor Cllr Ruth Winston MBE.

Mayor Cllr Ruth Winston MBE.

The Ruth Winston Community Centre started life on 7 March 1961, and was opened by HRH Princess Alexandra, thanks to Mayor Cllr Ruth Winston MBE. She was the First Lady Mayor of Southgate Borough from 1958 to 1959 and during her mayoral year raised the funds to buy 190 Green Lanes.
Life started out as the Southgate Old People’s Welfare Committee and housed the WRVS, meals on wheels and some day care activities. In 1970 a terrible fire broke out in the kitchen and destroyed the top half of the house, this was rebuilt and in 1973 HRH Princess Alexandra returned to reopen the “Ruth Winston House”.  In 2005 the Board of Trustees took over as an independent charity with some funding from local government.

Today we stand as an independent and self-funded local charity known as “Ruth Winston Community Centre”

HRH Princess Alexandra

HRH Princess Alexandra

In 2011 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary and in June of that year the Centre was honoured with a 3rd visit by HRH Princess Alexandra. She spoke to everyone who attended that day and was thrilled with the way the centre continues to grow and offer services to so many members and is constantly changing to meet the needs and trends of the local community.

In 2013 we were very fortunate and grateful to Waitrose of Palmers Green who awarded us a grant which allowed us to hold two Christmas parties with traditional Christmas Dinner, three courses, plus entertainment and sing-a-long.

We have promoted the Centre at numerous venues including the Enfield Town Show, Palmer’s Green Festival, Music in the Park (Broomfield Park August each year) Over 50’s Winter Fair and Falls Awareness days and many more. We are often invited to give talks to local groups about the centre throughout the year.

Enfield in Bloom sees us winning awards year on year with great thanks to Trevor and Jean Waller for all their efforts in picking, collecting and planting wonderful displays on the front and in the back garden for all to enjoy.  They receive lots of help from Volunteer gardeners and members.  We have also received a Merit for the space behind the Centre off of Oakthorpe Road which with great help from Southgate Explorers, Volunteers and Barclays Bank for their donation towards plants and staff who helped, North London Waste Authority for the compost and LBE Parks for the bark.

Our Successes

Awards for All 2013 – a grant was awarded which allowed us to upgrade our computer suite to tri-boot computers covering Windows 7, 8 and 10.  We can teach members to use all three types of software plus beginners course, intermediate, internet levels 1 and 2, I Pad levels 1 and 2 and Smart Phone plus our I.T Club on a Monday

Enfield Town Horticultural Show year on year Every year we encourage our very talented members to put a piece of their highly skilled work into the town show.  Success is ours year on year with winning Jams, Marmalades, Potatoes, Photography, Crochet work, Flower arrangements, Pencil Drawings, Mosaics, Card Printing, Cake Making, Small Garden design.  2014 saw one of members scooping “The Millfield House Trophy” for Best Adult Craft Exhibit.  Well done everyone

Mosaic Competition – Congratulations to Sue Ferguson and Pat Lewis for winning the Topps Tiles Mosaic Competition 2012 and then congratulations to Rosemary Mickleburgh and Sue Ferguson who won in 2013.

“Warmer Homes Healthy People Fund” 2011-2012 / 2013-2014 / 2014-2015 We obtained grants to fund a chef from Southgate College to give cookery lessons focusing on healthy eating, varieties of cooking methods and cuisines from around the world which included hygiene information for vulnerable adults.

Each person on the six week course was able to take part in preparation and cooking, tasting and the washing up.  At the end of the course each person was awarded a slow cooker to enable them to use the information and recipes to help themselves through the winter months or and a bag of store cupboard foods to enable them to make soups, sauces and stews.

“Enfield Residents Priority Fund” We obtained a modest grant in December 2011, which enabled us to buy a portable defibrillator based in the Centre but available to the Community in an emergency. With the assistance from the London Ambulance Service we organized training for 17 Volunteers, Group Leaders, Trustees and Staff. They are known as “Rescuers”.

Supper club – Jean and Gil started the Supper Club so that members would have the chance of meeting up in the evening in local restaurants and enjoy company from others with a delicious meal. It has brought many people together who would not normally go out in the evening and some much needed promotion and affiliation with local restaurants. Of course Gil’s raffles have been so very entertaining raising much needed funds for the centre.

Intergenerational Projects – We have worked with Chace Community School on the YPI and St Anne’s school to present an I.T course on how to use Face Book, Twitter and Skype free to members.

We worked with George Spicer school in 2011. They joined in our French conversation group and we joined in their art class. It was a very interesting and enjoyable day, everyone learnt something new.

Centre Team

The Board of Trustees

The object of the Board of Trustees (Volunteers) is to be responsible for the running and developing the Centre, and make recommendations on overall policies for the benefit of Members and Volunteers. It is made up of individuals who have an interest in services for older people.



We are working with other Voluntary Community Sector organisations like Age UK Enfield, Enfield CAB and Silver Fit to join forces, share projects and make better use of our facilities by offering advice talks, classes and events.

Here are some useful links to other websites:

Age UK –  is the country’s largest charity dedicated to helping everyone make the most of later life. We believe in a world where everyone can love later life and we work every day to achieve this.

Carers Trust Lea Valley Crossroads Care Service – Since 1986 our charity has been delivering practical support in carers’ homes within Enfield and the surrounding areas.

Citizens Advice Enfield – Citizens Advice Enfield is a charity that offers free, accessible quality advice to anyone who lives in Enfield. We can help with all kinds of problems whether they are housing, employment, benefits, debts or immigration issues for example.

Enfield Disability Action – Whatever your issue or enquiry we will offer person centred support to access the services and community interests that you identify. If we cannot meet your need effectively, we will support you to identify another provider who can.

Enfield Voluntary ActionEVA provides services to local voluntary and community organisations in Enfield

Friends of Broomfield Park – We are a group of volunteers who work with Enfield Council to improve the Park’s appearance, facilities, conservation value and safety, so that it can be enjoyed by all.

Mind in Enfield – with a mission to promote and improve the psychological and social well-being of local people with mental health problems. We work in partnership with other statutory and voluntary organizations in pursuit of our mission.

Over 50’s Forum – Aims to influence the decision-makers nationally and locally on such matters as: health, educational and leisure activities, transport, social and community care, housing, age discrimination in employment, pensions and benefits.

Silverfit – Silverfit is a charity aimed at encouraging wellbeing and fitness for over 45s – promoting happier, healthier ageing.

Stroke Association – We are the UK’s leading stroke charity. With your support, together we can conquer stroke

Home Care Preferred – We are providers of homecare for a wide range of clients, ensuring that they can remain at home in an environment that is comfortable and familiar while receiving the highest standards of care.


The centre is supported by a dedicated and loyal band of hard-working Volunteers, who can be found in the office, taking class bookings,  CIEH Level 2 trained volunteers cook and prepare lunches, serving refreshments, general portering/gardening work, D.I.Y, organising trips and events, to name but a few.

Interested in Volunteering?

Without our Trustees and Volunteers the centre simply couldn’t operate. We are very grateful for their most valuable contribution. Opportunities are always arising for new Volunteers. If you are interested in using your skills to help us please come in and talk to us.

How old do I have to be to join2022-11-11T17:36:34+00:00

All ages are welcome

How much is it to become a member2023-02-21T14:48:55+00:00

£25 a year

How long have you been open?2018-06-22T15:51:31+00:00

We have been open since 7 March 1961. Ruth Winston and Edith Simpson started the Southgate Old Peoples Welfare Committee, the Centre was opened by HRH Princess Alexandra. The centre evolved over the years and soon became The Ruth Winston Centre.

How can I pay for my class?2022-11-11T17:51:02+00:00

You can cheque or credit card (excluding AMEX) for your class. Some clubs require you to pay them directly but any class we organise and run we will take payment. Please come to the office before your next 6 week course starts to pay and ensure your place is kept for you. All classes need to be paid up front

What’s the code to the door?2018-06-22T15:50:54+00:00

There are codes to the front door and back gate. We will tell you these once you join, they are printed on the back of your membership card in case you forget.

Do you have a waiting lists for any classes?2018-06-22T15:50:11+00:00

Yes. Some of our classes prove very popular and fill up quite quickly. If we have to start a waiting list we will always look into the viability of running another class in the week to accommodate those waiting. A volunteer will always call you when a place becomes available so be sure to put your name on the waiting lists.

Are you run by Enfield Council?2018-06-22T15:49:54+00:00

No. We lease the house from the council but are an independent, small, local charity in our own right and overseen by the board of Trustees.

Are you a day care centre?2018-06-22T15:49:36+00:00

No. We haven’t had any day care activities here since the early 1970’s. We are now a community centre offering activities, clubs and classes.

When is your next event?2018-06-22T15:48:16+00:00

There is always so much going on at the Centre we ask that you keep an eye out on the website’s Events Page and on the Home Page. If you have an email address please ensure the office has your address so Staff can send you up to date information as it is due or for future dates. And finally if you are ever in the centre we encourage you to read one of the eight notice boards, there are always posters on them telling you about the next one.

What do you do at the centre?2018-06-22T15:47:55+00:00

We run over 60 classes and clubs each week for your benefit. We offer exercise, crafts, skills, tutorials, modern languages, services and well-being.

Who are your First aiders?2018-06-22T15:47:40+00:00

Staff, several Volunteers and Tutors are qualified first aiders. There are many first aid kits around the building, please see the notice boards for their locations.

Can I Gift Aid goods and money to you?2018-06-22T15:47:22+00:00

Yes you can. We have a gift aid system that allows us to take your information and keep tabs on your monetary donations as well as any items we sell on your behalf that you have donated to the centre. At present we can claim 25 pence back in every pound from HMRC. This can add up quickly and will go a long way to paying for core costs in the centre.

How can I donate to the centre?2018-06-22T15:46:55+00:00

You can do this by paying direct to the centre, someone in the office will receive your donation and ask you if you pay tax, this will allow us to gift aid it and receive tax relief from HMRC. You can post us a cheque or you can pay directly into our CAF Bank account or now on Virgin Money Giving site, please call in for our bank account details.
Please click here to go direct to our Virgin Money Giving page.

Do people leave you money in their will?2018-06-22T15:44:41+00:00

Yes. We have been very lucky to receive legacies by past members or people associated with the centre. A legacy can save your family paying inheritance tax plus helps to fund the centre for others to enjoy.

When are your Chiropodist in?2022-11-11T17:59:40+00:00

Martin is the Chiropodist visits on a Wednesday every 6 weeks between 10 to 4 please call for an appointment

When is your hairdressers open?2018-06-22T15:43:42+00:00

Lucy is a trained barber and hairdresser. She is open from 9.30 am – 2.30 pm Tuesday to Friday, her prices vary and all appointments need to be made with her direct. You will be given her number and price list on joining the centre as a member.

What do I need to bring to an exercise class?2018-06-22T15:43:25+00:00

You will need to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, a bottle of water and a yoga mat for some. We have a small stock of yoga mats for you to use but these must be returned at the end of class for others to use.

What do you offer for lunch?2022-11-11T17:33:33+00:00

We offer a light and healthy lunch each day which consists of either a sandwich, soup or jacket potato all include a side salad, yoghurt or banana and a tea or coffee. Lunch prices vary.

What are your tea and coffee prices?2018-06-22T15:42:50+00:00

We currently charge 50 pence for a cup and 60 pence for a mug. A volunteer will make your tea and coffee for you on request in the morning drop-in.

Do you have disabled access outside or inside the centre?2018-06-22T15:42:30+00:00

Yes we do. We have a wheelchair ramp at the front of the building, a wheelchair lift in the middle of the centre to allow access to the lower floor and a lowered kerb from the rear of the building. All of our doorways have been widened to allow wheelchair access and we have a wheelchair ramp to allow access to the hairdressers. We have a disabled toilet.

Do you provide carers for people who require assistance?2018-06-22T15:42:09+00:00

No we don’t. We are not a day care centre and therefore don’t have any trained carers. If someone needs a carer we must insist they bring someone with them.

Do you offer any day trips?2022-11-11T17:33:51+00:00


What are your opening times?2018-06-22T15:41:33+00:00

We are open Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 4.30 pm each week. We are closed on Bank Holidays and over the Christmas period.

Can I come along and try a class out before I sign up?2018-06-22T15:41:15+00:00

Yes. We encourage people to come along and observe a class or take part in the first class for free, our classes only other tutors may charge a trial fee. We will take you to the class, introduce you to the tutor and other members. If you like what you see and join in then you can sign up and become part of the class. If not don’t worry you can try another, there is no pressure from us.

If I have heard about a special event can I just turn up on the day?2018-06-22T15:40:56+00:00

Generally we like you to book in advance and let us know. This could be because we need to cater food or put out enough chairs for people and we like to prepare these things in advance. Also it might be a ticket only function, in which case we are unable to reserve seats. Your purchased ticket is your reservation.

Do all your classes need to be paid for six weeks in advance?2018-06-22T15:40:15+00:00

Some of the classes we run ourselves do, like these:

Discover Art
Computer Courses
Tai Chi
Flower Arranging
Make N Mend
Latin American dance
Chinese painting
All of which require a six week advance payment.

However we do run other classes that are pay as you go, such as

I.T Club
Arm Chair exercises
Ukulele lessons
Spanish Conversation
French Conversation
German Conversation
Italian Conversation
Table Tennis
Thursday Lunch Club
Memory Lane Café and Sing-a-Long

How much is the membership fee?2019-11-27T09:08:26+00:00

Our annual membership fee is £19.50 (2019/2020).. Membership starts 1st September through to 31st August each year.

If I pay membership do I still have to pay for classes?2018-06-22T15:37:45+00:00

Yes. The classes we run are all subsidised because you pay a membership fee but we still have to pay for the room hire, lighting, heating, equipment use and tutor.

How old do I have to be to join?2018-06-22T15:38:13+00:00

As long as you are 50 years old or over and a resident of the London Borough of Enfield you can join.

What benefits do I get for my membership fee?2018-06-22T15:38:40+00:00

There are many. You can come into the morning drop-in and read the paper, join any of the free classes like scrabble or the knitting circle and often a salsa class. You can use the subsidised services such as the hairdresser and chiropodist and you can join in the hot meals on a Thursday and other special celebration events. It also enables you to receive up to date information by email and a quarterly newsletter.

If I pay for a six week course and miss a week do I get my money back?2018-06-22T15:39:07+00:00

Unfortunately not. We are unable to give money back or carry over missed classes, unless the circumstances are such and we agree to it. Once you pay for a six week course up front you should try and attend all six weeks, the class is for your benefit, but we appreciate and understand this is not always possible.

What happens if I join a class half way through the six weeks?2018-06-22T15:39:36+00:00

We will look to pro-rata the cost for you.

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