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DIY SOS project brings Sheila Roper Centre back to life

DIY SOS project brings Sheila Roper Centre back to life

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Nottingham City Homes (NCH) and a number of its partners have invested thousands of volunteer hours into a major renovation project at the Sheila Roper Centre in Lenton Abbey.

It all started with the need for some insulation. The Sheila Roper Centre is a well-used and loved space for local residents, but for some time the building hadn’t been up to scratch. Improvements were desperately needed, and following a successful bid to NCH’s Anniversary Fund in 2015, work was able to get underway.

The community centre, based on Tenants Hall Close, just off Baslow Drive, is named after local volunteer Sheila Roper, who used to give her time to running the building and hosting community activities. A few years ago the centre was renamed in Sheila’s memory after she passed away and local resident Angela Stanton took over the responsibility as caretaker.

Angela said: “Before, it was just a wooden building, and the wood was rotten, so every time it rained hard we knew it would leak. The whole place was just really dull, cold and damp, and not ideal for the community. But it’s on people’s doorsteps, so I wanted it to be so much better for everyone. I never imagined we’d get something like this done.”

A team of staff from across NCH worked with local Councillors Sam Webster, Sally Longford and a number of contractors to see what they could do to help.

NCH Project Liaison Officer Christian Liquorish, said: “The more we looked at the building, and heard about the work Angela does to keep this place a valuable resource for the local community, the more we knew we wanted to help.

“It started off as a plan to just use funding from our Anniversary Fund to make sure the building was insulated. But it just snowballed from there.

“Before long we were installing new windows and doors, replacing the roof, plastering and tidying up the walls inside, redecorating, installing new lighting, floors and toilets - the list goes on.

“It seemed the more we did, the more work was offered by our fantastic contractors. It’s been a phenomenal collaborative effort and I’m so proud of the whole team for what we’ve achieved here. The community now has a fantastic facility that’s warm, cheaper to run, looking brand new and fully equipped for all the groups of people who want to use it.”

Thanks to the generosity of contractors, Nottingham City Council (NCC), local volunteers and a number of teams working in NCH, works have included:

   Brand new windows and doors, supplied and installed by Nationwide Windows

   External wall insulation, supplied and installed by SBS (Sustainable Building Services)

   Brand new roof, fitted by J Tomlinson

   New canopy and external cladding, supplied and installed by Nationwide Windows

   Plastering and tidying up inside completed by NCH repairs and maintenance team

   A full redecoration carried out by NCH’s Women in Construction team and volunteers from across the organisation

   New flooring

   New disabled toilets supplied and fitted by Keepmoat

   Updated to energy efficient lighting, thanks to Corsan.

The security of the site has also been improved, there’s new landscaping to the outside, as well as a brand new IT suite, supplied by the council, to enable local people to access services online.

Local Councillors provided money to make sure that some elements of the project could go ahead, as well as providing support and guidance throughout the process. Cllrs Sally Longford and Sam Webster, representing the Lenton Abbey ward, said: “We wanted to support Angela and the team at NCH as much as we could to bring this community facility back to life. Having a centre like this for the local community is so important for a wide range of groups from tiny tots to the young at heart who all plan to use the space.

“We’re delighted to see the final product, and are proud to have been part of something that has made such a difference to the local community in Lenton Abbey. We hope the renewed centre will offer a wider range of activities for people to enjoy.”