Giving Back to the Green

May 08 2017

now we want to move things on for the community. We would have liked to have gone to the BBC's DIY SOS and asked them to help our community project but we were realistic that wasn't going to happen so instead we went to the community to ask for their help.

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now we want to move things on for the community. We would have liked to have gone to the BBC's DIY SOS and asked them to help our community project but we were realistic that wasn't going to happen so instead we went to the community to ask for their help. 

"We are doing this for the community so they can have better facilities."

So far, support has come in from Howdens Joinery, painter and decorator Steve Rioch, Speedy Hire, Choice Blinds, JCC Lighting Products, Lancer Scott, B&Q and Homebase.

Alison, who grew up in Longwell Green, said: "We are looking for donations and are urgently calling out for skilled trades people. We have had a kitchen donated by Howdens which is great but we've got no kitchen fitters! 

"We need as many people as possible to step forward and help us even if it's just picking up a paintbrush - a lick of paint can really make so much difference."

Part of the plans include a community garden which will be created in the centre's grounds and already two volunteer gardeners have stepped forward to help out.

A special weekend was held on May 6 and 7 when volunteers and companies came together to get work off the ground.

It is hoped the project could be completed by June 3 when the centre hosts its first wedding fayre.

The campaign has been backed by Chris Skidmore, who attended the launch of the project on Friday April 28, while he was still MP for Kingswood.

Donning a Give Back to the Green t-shirt, Mr Skidmore told guests he has many special memories of the community centre.

He said: “The community centre has always had a place in my heart - I have fond memories of doing my first ever public speaking event, in a poetry competition during the Longwell Green Eisteddfod when I was probably nine-years-old. 

"The community centre is at the centre of Longwell Green life - as someone who was born and grew up around the corner, I know that Longwell Green would be much poorer without it. 

"It is a vital community resource, supported by fantastic volunteers and community groups. But we need more volunteers to come forward and support the centre for the future, if we are to ensure that it can be an even better place to serve Longwell Green.”

Longwell Green Community Centre, which was awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2013, hosts numerous activities and clubs including a toddler group, dance school, short mat bowls and bingo.

The self-funded centre has also launched its Stand Up Reach Out project which aims to provide a community hub to help tackle isolation and loneliness as well as offering support for carers and families. A charity night will kick-start fundraising for the social project. It features entertainment and singing from Daz and takes place on Friday June 23 from 7.30-11.30pm. Tickets are £5 and can be purchased from the community centre.

Alison said staff have really pulled together to make Give Back to the Green a success.

"It's a very big project and we've only got a small team but they've been phenomenal, working long hours and weekends to try to get this project together."

If you would like to help support Give Back to the Green, please call Alison Jordan or Kelly Fry at Longwell Green Community Centre on 0117 932 3722.