HELEN BURTON: Support for community hub has been overwhelming

Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001
Helen Burton SUS-160113-100959001

Well, it’s finally here, Saturday January 28 is the launch of the Eastbourne Volunteers project which I have been working on since September. This week I would like to say a big thank you to all of the people who have helped to make the project what it is.

Firstly, as ever, thank you to my parents who are my greatest support. Thank you for stripping wallpaper, collecting and carrying, putting up notice boards, trips to Brighton to collect free stuff and babysitting so I could work. Thanks also to the Bank of Mum and Dad (a much over-used institution) for lending me the first few months’ rent money for the hub premises, taking a chance on funding coming through and, as always, taking a chance on me.

Thank you to my long-suffering housemate for listening to all project developments with such patience. Actually, thank you to all of my friends for that. I can’t promise to be less boring in the future. Thank you to David Ruddle, William Wardlaw Rodgers, Stephen Lloyd, Adam Chugg, Lee Shepherd and Helen McCabe for your time and ideas at the start of this project and your continuing support. Thank you to Ian and Clare Westgate from the Eastbourne Access Group for helping to make sure our project is accessible to everyone.

Thank you to the Devonshire and Meads Eastbourne Borough councillors who approved devolved budget requests and UnLtd for a Star People Award, all of which have funded this project and got it off the ground. Thank you to MP Caroline Ansell for becoming the first of our community sponsors.

Thank you to Laura Murphy from Wayfinder Woman for helping to build my confidence and providing training that has been invaluable.

Thank you to everyone that helped to re-decorate The Hub, Carol Mills I particularly loved painting with you while we put the world to rights! Thanks especially to our first volunteers at The Hub, Pat and Angela, and to hopefully many more to come!

If I have forgotten anyone I apologise, so many people have helped to establish this project that I’m sure I probably have done. The support has been overwhelming, and it just shows what an amazing town Eastbourne is and the level of help that is available here. Apologies also to two close friends Julie and Trine, whose birthdays I forgot in December because my brain was too full of grant applications, policies and procedures. Love you both for being so understanding.

If you want to come to the launch and say ‘Hi’ please do! It is at Eastbourne Volunteers Community Hub, 1 The Labyrinth, 7 Mark Lane, Eastbourne BN21 4RJ at 11am. There will be tea, coffee and cake and Café Waste Not will be serving some food donated by Tesco and turned into something delicious. If you can’t make the launch, The Hub will be open 10am to 1pm weekdays during term time, and hopefully our hours will extend as more volunteers come forward. Email us at eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com for more information.