Community space gets charity facelift

Maxine Walton, Chris Jenner and Ceri Chapman oF Leeds Building Society with Community House staff Frances Riley, Tim Evanson and Jim Vauvert and CVS chairman Coun Stuart Martin. (130214M4)
Maxine Walton, Chris Jenner and Ceri Chapman oF Leeds Building Society with Community House staff Frances Riley, Tim Evanson and Jim Vauvert and CVS chairman Coun Stuart Martin. (130214M4)
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Kind-heartened staff at Leeds Building Society in Ripon put down their account books and picked up a paintbrush to transform a community space for local charities.

Staff at the Ripon branch, on Market Place North, spent an afternoon revamping a spacious unused room in Community House.

“We have got a local feel and a national presence,” branch manager Maxine Walton told the Gazette.

“So it is important for us to get involved in the local community and help with projects like this,” she said.

Five members of staff from the branch took an afternoon out on Friday, February 8 to revitalise the walls with a lick of lilac paint, paid for by the building society.

Burgundy chairs, a leather sofa, a coffee table, a wardrobe, a book shelf and children’s chairs and tables completed the facelift, making it fit for purpose for any community group hoping to host clubs and events in the city.

“We really want to see it used by all the voluntary and community sectors in Ripon, including older and younger people,” said Frances O’Reilly, chief exective of Ripon Community House on Allhallowgate.

“We have a play area outside so it would be a great spot for kids’ parties,” she added.

The community space has already attracted interest from groups across the city, including local charities such as the Silver Surfer’s Club and Dementia Forward.

The Silver Surfer’s Club was set up to help elderly people get online and use the internet, often with the help of tech-savvy youngsters.

Wifi has been installed to ensure internet access is available for any groups renting out the room.

It is also hoped the open space will attract exercise groups such as Zumba Gold and Tai-Chi.

Chairman of Ripon Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) and City coun Stuart Martin told the Gazette: “There is a great opportunity for community groups to come here.”

The room was used by Sure Start Children’s Centre before the charity moved to a dedicated facility in the city.

lIf you would like to rent out the room, or if you are interested in using any of Community House’s upstairs office space, contact Frances at Community House on 01765 603631.