A NEW era begins today (Friday) for one of Dewsbury’s best-loved charities.
The Howland Centre on School Street has taken on three new staff to extend the work it does with disabled people.
Increased opening hours will allow more classes to run and for people from the wider community to join.
And a new name, Howlands, was due to be unveiled by Mayor of Kirklees Coun Paul Kane today.
The centre has been run by the Dewsbury and District League of Friendship for more than 60 years.
Disabled people across North Kirklees are supported through arts and crafts activities.
Some of their colourful work has been displayed at venues including Batley Art Gallery.
One painter, Nico Griffin, 42, of Dewsbury, was born with hydrocephalus, a brain condition which affects his sight, co-ordination and walking.
Through Howlands he overcame these problems to create art full of bright geometic shapes.
The hiring of a development worker and two assistants will enable staff at Howlands help members do more.
Manager Deborah Hall said: “We have an exciting and challenging time ahead of us.
“The change of name does not mean that we are losing the values and ethos that have been built up over the years.
“It means we are offering even more to our members and volunteers and more opportunities for the local community to use our facilities.”
The public are invited to see the facilities on offer at Howlands from Monday, July 6 to Thursday, July 9 (11am-3pm).