Q&A: My Hampstead - Emma Brooks, Hampstead Community Centre


- Credit: Emma Brooks

Emma Brooks has worked as the centre administrator at Hampstead Community Centre for 14 years, and has been in the area for three decades.

What brought you to Hampstead?

I came from Yorkshire to live in Hampstead in 1988 and be a nanny. I lived in Well Walk and took the children to the under 5’s in our hall.

What makes the area unique/special?

The village feel makes the area unique and having the Heath, of course, makes it special - yet it’s also so close to central London.

If you have a day off, what do you like to do in the area?

On my days off I like to run on the Heath as I am training for a half marathon. I have spent a lot of time on the Heath with my children over the years.

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Does Hampstead Community Centre have any exciting plans for the future?

We’re having a complete office refurbishment which will start over the summer and new hall roof lights next year.

What about the centre are you proudest of?

I love that we can offer an affordable service at our holiday play schemes and after school clubs. It’s invaluable for parents who are working.

Who is the most inspiring person you have met through the centre?

Berryl Jensen who used to run the centre was an amazing women who had been a famous artist in South Africa and worked with the ANC. She revolutionised the centre, introducing new groups and shaping the playcentre and Christmas Day for the over 60s all of which is still going today.

What are you personally looking forward to for the rest of this year?

I am excited for my daughter Chloe who will be moving to Sheffield to start a graphic design degree.

I’m sad for her to leave our house but I know she is starting an exciting chapter of her life. I am also looking forward to renovating my house it’s been some time since it was done and things are starting to look tired!