Dance studio gets makeover

Hastings mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling, and Linda Seddon (a Trustee of Fresh Vision) with project volunteers. SUS-150716-113822001
Hastings mayor, Cllr Bruce Dowling, and Linda Seddon (a Trustee of Fresh Vision) with project volunteers. SUS-150716-113822001

Young volunteers on a new community project have given a St Leonards dance studio a top notch makeover.

The room at The Y Centre, in St Paul’s Road, had been deemed to be looking a bit tired, with scratched cupboards, uneven walls, and rusty radiators.

But eight volunteers from the Build Yourself community project run by Fresh Visions (hosted and supported by AmicusHorizon) who, along with Comic Relief and Orbit Housing Association supplied funding – have given the dance studio a new lease of life.

The volunteers plastered, painted, decorated and created stunning stencils on the walls - making the dance studio a brighter more welcoming space.

Build Yourself gives low waged and unemployed 18-24 year olds an opportunity to learn DIY skills. The team spent five weeks working at The Y Centre and were guided by a professional painter and decorator.

The proud participants gathered for a celebration event at the dance studio on July 10 where a presentation was held to mark their achievements. Family and friends heard how some volunteers have already gained employment or gone on to further education since working on the project.

Cathy Wilson, centre manager at the Y Centre, praised the volunteers for doing an amazing job on the dance studio. “It looks brilliant and bright, and the motifs are a good reflection on what the room is used for,” she said. “I think the group have learnt lots - right down to time keeping, working as a team and communicating with each other by discussing ideas. One of the group even said to me ‘I wish I could just keep doing this’!”

Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Bruce Dowling, thanked all the volunteers for their achievements. “The room looks so much fresher and cleaner,” he said. “This project is just the type of thing needed to help move these young people forward on their path through life.”

Participant Ayiesha Christian-Samuels, 21, said she’d really enjoyed working on the project, adding: “It’s been absolutely brilliant. I’ve learnt so many skills. I was a DIY novice, but since this course I’ve managed to build up my confidence and I hope to use these skills elsewhere.

“I’ve learnt how to plaster and to paint properly. It’s been great.”

For more info email: buildyourself@freshvisions.org.uk