Lancing community hub set to close - MP wants organisation to 'reverse this decision'

A Lancing community hub, which offers a safe place for people to meet up and take part in social activities, is set to close permanently.

The Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) has announced plans to sell the Chesham House Community Centre in South Street.

Sam Ward, deputy CEO for the RVS, said: “The Chesham House Centre has been closed for the last two years because of the pandemic, and during that time our dedicated staff and volunteer teams continued to run the transport and companionship services that support older people in the community.

"Having reviewed the feasibility and costs of reopening the centre and running the services from there, we have taken the difficult decision to keep it closed and put it up for sale.

"This isn’t a decision that was made lightly or easily as we care a great deal about the local community."

Chesham House has been described as an intrinsic part of the community with more than 80 volunteers and hundreds of clients.

It offered a safe place for members of the community to meet up and take part in social activities, whilst enjoying homemade treats made by volunteers in the Vintage Tea Room.

This newspaper was told anonymously that the service is needed 'more now than ever' and it's feared the 'tragic news' of closure will be 'devastating for so many people'.

Chesham House has been described as an intrinsic part of the community with more than 80 volunteers and hundreds of clients. Photo: Google Street View

RVS said that, 'like many charities', the facility has been 'operating in a very challenging environment' with fewer resources and increasing demand.

Sam Ward added: "The people who have used the centre and the services that ran out of it, remain our priority and we will work with our staff and volunteers to look at how we can continue to support them.”

Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, said he was 'very annoyed' to hear about the plans to close the 'wonderful' community hub in Lancing.

He added: "I have been speaking to local councillors, volunteers and users of the centre to see what we can do to put pressure on the charity to reverse this decision."