Volunteers help to give Eastbourne’s Mencap centre a welcome facelift

A town centre activity centre for people with learning disabilities has been given a facelift.

The Hive of Activity in Pevensey Road, Mencap’s day care centre, underwent an eight hour refurbishment after it was chosen by Places for People, one of the largest property management, development and regeneration companies in the UK with a regional base on Ivy Terrace, as the annual ‘team challenge’ for staff in its South East region.

Some 46 Places for People staff, including office-based employees and property maintenance operatives, armed with £6,000 in donated materials, completed a one-day unprecedented makeover of the building. The estimated commercial value of the entire project was in the region of £25,000, with the cost of staff investment alone worth around £8,500.

Peter Plowman of Eastbourne & District Mencap said, “We are a local independent charity and rely on the kind generosity of the community to provide our services to adults with learning disabilities. Our day care centre The Hive of Activity is a daily focus point in the lives of many people.

“Over the years the building has become tired looking both externally and internally, however the demand for funds is such that finances have never stretched to a refurbishment of the premises to this extent.

“This generous work by Places for People is remarkable. We will never forget their support in terms of time, skill and hard work. This will make a huge difference to us all. We are all so appreciative.”

The teams got to work at 9am on the day, redecorated the entire interior ground floor area, installed cork walls for display purposes, painted a seaside-themed mural and refurbished the unworkable cellar into a new usable storage area.

They also rendered exterior walls and repainted the entire facade, fixed window-sills, installed new signage and re-pointed walls.