Portsmouth charity sends out DIY SOS to help create its new community home

CITY firms are rallying together as part of a DIY project to help a charity open its doors – but more are needed to join the cause.

By Mark Waldron
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 6:37 pm

Southsea charity Spark Community Space will soon move into the former Pompey Store in Fratton, Portsmouth, after searching for a permanent home for more than a year. Work is underway to take the venue from an empty building to a warm and welcoming space for people to use, with a range of businesses coming together to help.

The charity’s founder, Becki Simmons, is hoping to transform the old merchandise store into part charity shop and part café, with additional facilities such as desks and a quiet corner for reading.

Several businesses have already come forward to offer their services free of charge, including KSM Telecoms, GRP Solutions Ltd and Island Tea and Coffee Co.

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Becki Simmons, founder of Spark Community Space. Picture: Sarah Standing (290121-1022)

They are now looking for tradespeople, such as builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painter and decorators and more, as well as companies who can donate materials and items such as kitchen equipment, tables and chairs and flooring.

Becki said: ‘We’ve seen so many amazing people not only give up their time but offer their services to help Spark get up and running. People just keep on giving and it’s amazing to see how much people are willing to help.

‘We’re hugely grateful, but we still have so much work to do and we need help from absolutely everyone who can give it. If you have a skill, come and get involved, if you have materials, donate some materials, if you don’t have a skill or materials, donate a little bit money to help us get what we need. Every tiny piece of help goes a huge way for us.’

Once open, the new venue will provide a safe space for people who feel like they do not belong in society or feel anxious spending time in mainstream places.

It will also be a hub for other various community projects in the city.

The charity is currently running coffee mornings on Tuesdays and Wednesdays out of Sherlock’s Bar in Southsea to help generate funding for its forever home.

Anyone who can offer help in the way with labour, materials or funds are being encouraged to do so and can email [email protected]