A Hastings hall which hadn’t been redecorated since the 1980s, has been modernised by young volunteers from the Build Yourself course.
The team of 12 hardworking youngsters have given Hastleon Hall, on Bexhill Road, a fresh lick of paint and brought it straight into the 21st century.
The group have painted the hall with a new calming colour scheme, repaired wooden panelling, stripped and refaced brickwork, and sanded and filled walls.
Build Yourself is a community project which is run by Fresh Visions, the charity hosted and supported by housing association Optivo. The project gives low waged and unemployed 18-24 year olds an opportunity to develop career based skills.
Participants spent two weeks doing skills tasters, including wallpapering, carpentry, laminate flooring and tiling, then five weeks redecorating the hall.
A celebration event was held at the hall on Friday 17 November where the group were presented with toolkits and vouchers in front of their family and friends.
Hastleons trustee Duncan Spencer said: “As a Charity we aim to produce shows as close to a West End experience as possible, but funds are always tight meaning that our problem has been the hall - it’s been dilapidated.
The efforts of the Build Yourself volunteers have been wonderful – the hall looks unbelievable and I can’t thank them enough.”
Naomi Mileham, who helps coordinate the Build Yourself project, added: “This has been another wonderful project. Six of the group have gained a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card, the leading skills certification scheme within the UK construction industry.
“One volunteer has even started a job on a construction site this week. The great thing about Build Yourself is it helps both ways – a community venue is given a new lease of life and, in the process, our volunteers have a whole world of opportunities opened up to them.”
The project is funded by Comic Relief, Optivo, Orbit Housing Association and BSW Heating.
Optivo is one of the UK’s largest housing associations with 44,000 homes in London, The South East and The Midlands. Find out more at: www.optivo.org.uk.
For more on the Hastleons visit www.hastleons.co.uk.