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Centre renamed in memory of community stalwart Bob Jones CBE

The widow of Bob Jones CBE spoke of her pride as a Wolverhampton community centre was named in memory of her late husband.

Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre has been renamed the Bob Jones Community Hub in his memory
Bob Jones CBE

Bob Jones' widow Sarah Edmondson and granddaughter Emma Harrison inspect the plaque dedicating the hub to his memory, with, back, left to right, daughter Frances Harrison, sister Rosemary Green and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito
Inspecting the plaque dedicated to Bob Jones' memory

The Bob Jones Community Hub, on Bromley Street
The Bob Jones Community Hub, Bromley Street

Sarah Edmondson said the long serving Wolverhampton councillor and Police and Crime Commissioner would have been "humbled" to see Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre renamed as the Bob Jones Community Hub.

She said: "Bob was a driving force behind this centre and this is a fitting tribute to the work he did for the local community.

"He dedicated his life to serving the people of Wolverhampton and made sure that everything he did, he did for local people. Very often people in charge don't ask the community what they want, they just go ahead and do it. Bob was different; he asked the community what they wanted and then tried his very best to get it for them.

"He was a warm and wonderful man, and I know he would have been so proud - and humbled - to see this centre renamed in his honour."

Bob, who passed away suddenly at the aged of 59 last year, was just 25 when he was elected as a councillor for the Blakenhall ward. He went on to serve the people of Wolverhampton with distinction for more than 3 decades, later becoming the West Midlands' first Police and Crime Commissioner.

To recognise his contribution to the city, the healthy living centre was renamed the Bob Jones Community Hub at a special ceremony attended by around 100 people on Friday (30 October, 2015).

The decision to honour Bob in this way was made by Councillor Elias Mattu, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Services, who said: "Bob Jones CBE was a keen supporter of the people of Blakenhall and one of the driving forces behind Blakenhall Community and Healthy Living Centre, which has proved to be very popular since it opened in 2010.

"His hard work made it possible to have this beautiful building, and so I am delighted that it has been renamed in his memory; it is a legacy which will last for many years."

A plaque commemorating the renaming of the hub, along with a separate memorial detailing Bob's service to the people of Wolverhampton, was unveiled by Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito. She said: "Some people may have thought Bob was ordinary because of humility - in fact, he was extraordinary."

After the event, visitors were able to see for themselves the wide range of sports, fitness and community facilities on offer at the hub, which has standard and Easyline gyms, a toning suite, sports hall and meeting rooms and is home to Blakenhall Library and the popular Taste of Paradise café.

The ceremony featured performances by groups based at the Bob Jones Community Hub, including Dohl drummers and Jai Jashn Dance.

The Bob Jones Community Hub is open to the public on Mondays and Fridays from 9am to 5pm, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 9pm and Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. For more information, please call 01902 555460 or email bjch@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

  • released: Monday 2 November, 2015