The Mayor of Hailsham, Councillor Paul Holbrook, took part in a special ceremony to mark the opening of the newly renovated lounge at YMCA Downslink Group’s Grove House accommodation in Market Square on Friday [24 June].
Councillor Holbrook was joined by project workers and residents at the facility in Market Square, which provides supported accommodation for young people aged between 16 to 25 years, who would otherwise be homeless.
Grove House, situated in the heart of Hailsham, is a small project run by a dedicated team of project workers, chaplains and coaches. The ethos of the YMCA is to welcome all, inspire and support.
The Grove House lounge renovation project has been led by Jane Morgan, YMCA Inspire Coach for Eastbourne and Hailsham. Part of Jane’s role is to support and motivate the residents living in YMCA accommodation to get involved and have an influence over their surroundings. In turn, this helps to increase their confidence and provides a great opportunity to develop many other transferrable skills.
The lounge had previously been used as a dumping ground for old beds and desks and was in a very poor state. Since being renovated by project workers and residents however, the lounge has now been transformed, with the working team deciding on a botanical theme for the room, with an animal twist.
The YMCA maintenance team cleared the room and residents Milly and Josh learnt how to prepare the area for redecorating, enthusiastically painting the walls and woodwork, assembling furniture, laying a new carpet and receiving a large sofa, kindly donated by Eastbourne Foyer.
The Mayor of Hailsham also donated £100 towards the renovation from his mayoral allowance, which was used to buy a brand-new shelving unit, coffee table and soft furnishings.
When speaking to the project team, everybody said that they were proud of themselves and each other for completing such an ambitious project. Milly commented, “I never thought we’d actually do it. I can’t believe how great it looks, I love it!”
Delighted to have been invited to open the new lounge, Councillor Holbrook said: “Thank you to Jane, Geraldine and the residents for such a warm welcome. Everyone has worked so hard since renovating the room, making it look modern, tidy and beautiful.”
“The YMCA Downlink Group has built up a good reputation over many, many years – and has always continued to work hard to build on that reputation and improve its facilities even further for vulnerable young people.”
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org