Hard work and a lick of paint gives Charlies a makeover

Gill Driscoll, Alice Fellows and Carey-Ann Burt hard at work
Gill Driscoll, Alice Fellows and Carey-Ann Burt hard at work

A TEAM of hard-working volunteers are transforming a youth club as part of a scheme to encourage local workers to give up time for free to help the community.

More than 40 people took days off work to get the refurb of Charlies in Seaside up and running, laying decking, building a barbecue, putting in a tea bar upstairs, painting the main room and music room and generally sprucing up the ever-popular venue.

Many of the supplies and raw materials were donated, with Brewers providing £300 of wallpapers, Seddons handing over £200 of paint, a local kitchen firm contributing £750 in units and Eastbourne Borough Council stumping up £1,100.

Ryan Standen, one of the youngsters who use the centre and helped the volunteers, said, “Hopefully it will bring a lot more people here. I have enjoyed working as part of a team and feel it is something to be very proud of.”

And Suzy Rhodes, of Places for People – the project behind the improvements – explained, “Its about giving something back and embracing our spirit values and working together to make a difference to the community while having fun and learning new skills.”

Jacy Kilvert, of Eastbourne and Wealden YMCA, was delighted with the work.

She told the Herald, “It was totally amazing to see such enthusiasm and hard work by all the volunteers.

“The young people who use the centre see this as a safe place to be and the work that has happened today will add so much value and the transformation the team have created will impact on their lives immensely.”

And the local MP, Stephen Lloyd, was impressed by what he saw on a recent visit.

He said, “I know Charlies well. The young people have always appreciated it but, to be honest, the building was pretty shabby.

“The team – 40 plus volunteers from Places for People – are utterly transforming it.

“From top to bottom they are turning Charlies into a spanking new building.

“On behalf of Eastbourne and the users of Charlies I would like to thank all the Places for People volunteers for doing such a fantastic job.”