A rescue mission to save Preston’s only Afro-Caribbean club from closure saw a massive turnout this weekend.
Jalgos Sports and Social Club on Rose street in Preston for many years thrived and was a lively venue since it’s opening in 1976.
That has not been the case in recent times and it has been dangerously close to shutting down.
Memberships had dwindled and the place was only surviving thanks to volunteers putting time and effort in.
In an attempt to bring some business back to the club, they put on the “Jalgos Back To The Community Day” on Saturday.
The event was a family fun day with entertainment and free food for children, special guest DJ’s were playing and Caribbean food was on sale.
Gemma Archer was one of the organisers for the event and said: “The support from the community was just immense.”
She said, ” We opened at three and was expecting people to slowly come in one by one,
“But by 20 past 3 the place was full, it was brilliant.”
The event lasted all day and went on into the night, Gemma didn’t finish working till 2 am.
“Everyone had a good time, it was full to capacity upstairs, personally I couldn’t have asked for it to go better”
When asked about the outlook for the future of Jalgos, Gemma believes it is positive, she said,
“I think at the moment it looks good, If you’d have asked me last week I’d have said we’re trying, that’s all I could say to people,
“What I’d say now after seeing the support we got on Saturday, I don’t think we’re going anywhere.”
As for why Jalgos has struggled recently, Gemma thinks that the community just were not aware of the clubs situation.
She said, “I think a lot of it is the community didn’t know, I had a lot of people telling me that they didn’t know we were still open
The positive response from the community has carried on since Saturday, Gemma said,
“Since Saturday right up until now, My phone has been non-stop as you can hear with my voice,
“My inbox on Facebook has been going constantly, we’ve had businesses, we’ve had local people,
“People that don’t live in Preston but want to help, the response we’ve had is massive .”
Due to the overwhelming feedback, the Jalgos back to community day could become a regular occurrence,
Gemma said, “I’ve had people asking if we can make this family fun day for kids and party at night for adults a regular thing,
“That is something we are definitely looking at, every month maybe or something like that.”
The club is currently working on a website and new social media, until then if you would like to get in touch, you can contact Gemma on her Facebook page here.
Alternatively, you can phone them on 01772 556109.