Charity investment seesbig centre improvements

WITH autumn weather arriving, visitors to a community centre can be sure of a warm welcome thanks to the generosity of an environmental charity which replaced a community centre's heating and windows.

Tuesday, 1st November 2016, 6:06 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:23 pm
Lynne Rigby outside Southsea community centre which now has new windows and a new boiler thanks to Veolia

Southsea’s Frank Sorrell Centre, in Prince Albert Road, attracts thousands of people every year to a range of activities for the whole community.

It is run by the Portsmouth Disability Forum (PDF), which took over ownership of the building in 2011. It has completed several renovation projects, including the installation of automatic doors.

Now Veolia Environmental Trust has helped it go even further by replacing the centre’s wooden framed and singled-glazed windows with PVC double-glazed ones, and a new, more efficient boiler has been installed.

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The work cost £13,000 and funds came from The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awarded £10,468 through the Landfill Communities Fund, with PDF meeting the shortfall from its own funds.

PDF’s principal officer, Lynne Rigby, said: ‘We are really happy that this project is now complete, just in time for the wetter, colder months.

‘The improvements mean that our many users can enjoy the centre and its facilities all year round, whatever the weather.’

As well as it being the headquarters of PDF, the centre is used throughout the week for a wide range of activities and events for disabled people, including PDF’s open access feature forum, its empowering children and families forum, and its DIAL Disability Information Advice Line.

Other users include Portsmouth Parent Voice, young people’s group Dynamite, Autism Hampshire, Portsmouth Autism Support Network, SEND Information Advice and Support Service.

Regular users include brass bands, churches, Portsmouth MS Society, Loud and Clear, Kit Bags and Berets, Pals Youth Group, Autism Assessment Clinics Cheerful Charlies.

Paul Taylor, executive director of Veolia Environmental Trust, said: ‘I hope the improvements we have helped fund provide a much welcome boost for PDF.’