A VISION to build a focus for the community at the site of a disused pub in Sidley is halfway to realisation.
The Pelham Trust was set up by Sidley Baptist Church in a bid to turn the empty Pelham pub and hotel at the corner of Wrestwood Road and Holliers Hill into a place where the young, elderly and everyone in between is made to feel welcome.
Plans include a drop-in coffee house on the ground floor offering free Wi-Fi and two open fires; a large function room on the first floor plus smaller function rooms, meeting rooms, hot desking office facilities and an internet suite; a large youth activity centre in the basement; accommodation for staff and breakfast and homework clubs for children.
The Pelham Trust also aims to provide help and a safe haven for vulnerable people, a place for youngsters to learn skills to find work or start a small business, help for those in debt, and advice on a variety of problems and issues people might have.
According to government figures, Sidley is within the five per cent of most socially deprived areas in the country.
When the Pelham closed its doors in 2009, members of Sidley Baptist Church formed the registered charity in the hope of countering this and also the impact of austerity measures taken locally and nationally in response to the economic climate.
A total of £300,000 has already been raised, halfway through the target figure of £600,000.
Grants from organisations such as £60,000 from Veolia Environmental Services with 10 per cent match funding from Bexhill Old Town Preservation Society have helped cover construction costs.
A professional design team has been appointed to carry out renovation works to the Pelham, led by architect Roger Case, and aided by a team of electrical and mechanical services designers, structural engineers and quantity surveryors willing to help out with a good cause.
The main structure of the building is now wind and water tight, the roof has been retiled, walls repointed, new windows and doors on the ground floor and solar panels have been fitted on the roof.
Interior layout plans have now been completed and finalised for all floors and the basement.
Eric Bardell, chief executive of the Pelham Trust, said: “The flood of provision has been amazing - even miraculous - enough to buy the property and renew the roof and outer shell of the building without recourse to loans.
“So now we are on the launch pad to begin the interior works and push on to complete the project; but we need to fuel the rocket!”
Mr Bardell said the trust is on the lookout for personal and corporate sponsors for the project, and is also appealing for one-off donations. “No gift is too small,” he said.
The trust is also appealing for volunteers such as those who want to serve as a trustee or feel they have the relevant skills and experience to help the project grow into fruition.
If you want to sponsor the project, make a donation, or put yourself forward as a volunteer, contact the Pelham Trust on 07702 190255 or e-mail email@example.com
For more information on the Pelham Trust, visit the website at www.thepelham trust.co.uk
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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