Invited guests got a sneak peek of a hushed Centre Court minus the tennis crowds at an event to honour the work of local charities.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) held a reception evening for its charitable arm, the Wimbledon Foundation, last Thursday evening.

Wimbledon Times:

Visitors enjoyed a tour of Centre Court

Tours of the world famous venue were held as part of an evening where charities mingled with club executives and local politicians.

Among the moving speeches of the evening was one by Merton Night Shelter co-ordinator Nicki Zisman and a former homeless woman who is now living in a private flat thanks to help from the charity and the team from Regenerate based on the Alton Estate in Roehampton.

Wimbledon Times:

L-R: Deputy mayor of Wandsworth Councillor Richard Field, Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis, mayor of Merton Councillor Agatha Akyigyina with Wimbledon Foundation's Helen Parker and Ian Hewitt.

They are two of 30 Merton and Wandsworth-based charities and community organisations that have been awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation.

Ian Hewitt, chairman of the foundation said: "Supporting our local communities of Merton and Wandsworth is at the very heart of what the Wimbledon Foundation does.

"The evening is a chance for us to celebrate the achievements of those charities and thank them for all the hard work they do to better our communities."

Among the guests were Merton Council leader, Councillor Stephen Alambritis, Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond and mayor of Merton Councillor Agatha Akyigyina.

Wimbledon Times:

Entertainment was provided by youngsters from the World Heart Beat Music Academy based in Southfields.

Established in 2013, the Wimbledon Foundation aims to use the heritage and resources of Wimbledon to change people’s lives.

One of its principal objectives is to make a significant contribution to meeting social needs in the boroughs of Merton and Wandsworth.

More than £275,000 has been awarded to local charities and community organisations by the foundation since it started.