Members of our Property Services team used their 'volunteer day' to spruce up Lower Lane Community Centre in Freckleton.

Our Marketing and Communications Officer Louise spoke to project leaders Mike Nelson and Phil Bentley about the work:

Hi Mike and Phil! How did the idea to do a 'DIY SOS' style volunteering day at Lower Lane Community Centre come about?

MN - "We knew we wanted a team-building day and we had heard about some of the other volunteering events happening with other teams across the Group, and we thought we could tie the two together by making use of the skills and trades within all the Property Services teams."

Why was Lower Lane Community Centre chosen for the makeover?

PB - "We knew from speaking with Rob Knowles in the Caretaking Team (or should that be Nick Knowles?!), and Diane and Sam from the Progress Involvement Team, that this was a building and an area that could do with a bit of TLC. There's a bit of social value work and investment going on already in this area as well to make it a nice area for the people who live here, so it seemed like a good time and place to help out by updating the community centre."

Main Hall Beore After Listing Image Small 6

What were the main aims of the Lower Lane DIY SOS volunteering event?

PB - "We did a full uplift. We built a new bin store, making the centre watertight, painted and plastered throughout, replaced dry verge tiles on the roof, landscaped round the back, and fitted a new front door. 

"Fitting out the new room for the foodbank was one of the biggest jobs that will make a big difference to the local community and the groups using the building - along with fitting a new kitchen. A huge thank you to Berry's as well for donating the new kitchen for this project."

MN - "Yes, the new room we created to house the foodbank will make a big difference. It will mean that the supplies are secure, and it will have everything it needs including new shelving. It will give the volunteers who run the foodbank their own space and allow them to provide more food parcels to the people who need them most locally."


Food Bank Before After Listing Image Small 7

What has it meant to you to get involved with a project like this?

MN - "It's been great to get everyone together from different teams who've not worked together for years. But more than that, we're really proud to be doing this to directly help this local community. It's been challenging organising it all at times but incredibly rewarding to all be working together to give back to the local people living in Freckleton and the Lower Lane area."

PB - "It feels really motivational as well, both for Progress and for the wider community. It might open the door for more projects like this that can happen in the future, bringing people together and giving back. We are really hoping that the help we have given here will help make the community centre a safe and welcoming space for groups such as the foodbank and youth group we know use the facility already, and perhaps more local groups and individuals will get more use out of the building now it's had a much-needed makeover."

Mike would like to say a big thank you to everyone involved in the volunteering event:

"On behalf of myself and Phil, I just wanted to say a big thank you for everyone’s hard work and efforts. What we managed to get done in a single day was a great achievement, and undoubtedly will make a big difference to the community who use the centre at Lower Lane. It was also nice to get everybody on site and working together, an opportunity which I know some of us do not get in our normal working week.

"We also wish to thank our contractors, CW Berry, Hydge Flooring and SMJ, who supported us with the event.

"Feeling a great sense of achievement and pride on a successful project undertaken and executed. Very well done everyone!"