Work starts on Shirley Community Centre revamp
WORK started this week on the first phase of a major revamp of Shirley Community Centre in a bid to attract more groups to use it.
The work is being undertaken by offenders on the Pay Back Scheme – community work carried out as part of their sentence.
But Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya, secretary of the centre, said it could never have got under way without support from the Express Timber building centre in Wickham Road, Shirley.
She said the company has donated hundreds of pounds-worth of preparation equipment, including scrapers, white spirit and paint holders, enabling a start to be made on the complete redecoration of the inside of the building in Bridle Road.
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Ms Nicodemi-Ehikioya said: "We are extremely grateful for the help we have received from Express Timber and we are now hoping other people in the area will help with the next phase.
"We particularly need tins of paint, preferably white matt, for the ceilings and also new curtains."
She said the centre had been hit hard by Croydon Council's youth service budget cuts which had seen it lose its rental income from a council-run youth club.
Ms Nicodemi-Ehikioya said: "This was our main source of income and losing it is making it more difficult to survive."
She said the aim of the centre's trustees was to boost the number of groups using the centre but admitted the building was looking tatty.
"It needs to look more attractive if more people are going to use it," she said. "We find that once people see what facilities we offer they realise it is a great centre."
If financial support can be found, it is hoped to start redecorating the outside of the building in the spring.
Anyone who can help the centre with materials for the overall project is asked to call Ms Nicodemi-Ehikioya on 07940 415532.