Residents were out in force to celebrate The Lodge’s first birthday

Community members had something to celebrate on Saturday.  Our lovely community building, The Lodge, which has transformed residents’ experience of community over the last year, turned one year old.

The birthday party was organised by local residents Emma Ainsworth and Trudy Acton with support from Chichester Community Development Trust, Little Learners, Children and Families Centre, Immanuel church and Graylingwell Park Residents’ Association.  All of these people and organisations were involved in the ‘making of’ The Lodge.

Emma and Trudy said, “Over this last year, The Lodge has been the centre of the community, hosting many different activities that bring the community together, from the IT café which gives IT training and support, to the Youth Club, from our children’s birthday parties, to being an ideal location for a wonderful nursery so local mums can get back to work. We are thrilled with what it has offered the community.”

Chat at the party included remembering the community action that finished The Lodge: local residents come out in force to hammer, drill, paint, clean, put up signs and guttering, finish flooring, paint raised bed and shovel gravel.

The Lodge is also a wonderful eco story.  It used to be a Lindens sales and marketing suite in Woking and Lindens kindly offered it to the community.  The challenge was to move it!  First the building was sliced into 4 pieces for transportation, then bolted back together by the contractors.  The project was then taken over by the Construction Community Works Projects, a social enterprise that uses teams of construction students from Chichester College and people on Back to Work schemes.  And the community members finished it themselves.

Chichester Community Development Trust owns and manages The Lodge on behalf of the community.

Clare de Bathe, Trust Director, said, “We are so pleased that the community love The Lodge.  We worked really hard to make sure that the Graylingwell Park community received the shared space for events and activities it desperately needed.  Now we all have a well-equipped, light, bright space that not only is a great place for the community to get together, but also brings funds into the community.”

The Lodge in numbers:

1 redundant sales and marketing office saved from landfill
4 the number of pieces The Lodge was cut into for transportation to Graylingwell Park
19 unemployed people helped with the building works, giving them valuable work experience
33 community members helped to finish The Lodge
87 students from Chichester College experienced working on a real-life building site
150 burgers were BBQed to celebrate The Lodge’s first birthday!

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