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Community centre gets cosy modern makeover

A Victorian community centre that provides a lifeline for people in vulnerable circumstances in the Tenterden area, is getting a green makeover.

From Press releases - 11 June 2019 12:00 AM

Community centre gets a cosy modern makeover in Tenterten.jpg

Thanks to a £17,000 grant from UK Power Networks, Tenterden Social Hub, in Church Road is installing new LED lighting, loft insulation and double glazing to make the building warm and comfortable for pensioners, people with disabilities and members living with dementia.

Savings from the energy efficiencies will be ploughed back into ways of tackling social isolation and loneliness across the town and nine surrounding villages, including chiropody clinics, laundry, bathing, hairdressing, arts and crafts, seated exercise, games, outings and a library.

Launched earlier this year, the power company’s Power Partners community investment fund aims to support organisations that work to alleviate fuel poverty, support people in vulnerable circumstances and make community buildings warmer and cheaper to heat.

Spencer Goddard, chief executive of Tenterden Social Hub, said: “Due to the vulnerable nature of our members, it is crucial we keep our visitors warm, while reducing running costs and providing a cleaner, more efficient building for our local community. That is why we are pleased to receive this award from UK Power Networks which offers carbon and monetary savings and will future-proof our building to help ensure we can still be offering our services to our members for another 40 years. We are also grateful for major donations of £5,000 from Simmons and Simmons and £900 from Tenterden Day Centre.”

Veronika Karailieva, stakeholder engagement manager for UK Power Networks, said: “We had a fantastic response to our first round of applications for our new Power Partners fund and choosing 16 projects to support was quite a task.

“Tenterden Social Hub will put the money to excellent use by making the centre warmer and cheaper to heat, which will make a lasting contribution in providing extra help and support to some of our most vulnerable customers. We already serve at least 1.7 million people living in vulnerable circumstances by providing additional support and advice on energy matters via our Priority Services Register.

“We recognise there are wider communities that could benefit from extra help via our Power Partners fund to reduce energy bills or help to make community spaces more energy efficient.”

The former school building supports 275 visitors each week, plus 28 staff and 45 volunteers. It offers activities for over 60s, a day centre called Disabled in Action and a Meals on Wheels service delivering 30 meals per day. The busy centre is open all week and runs a bus service bringing members to the hub from surrounding villages.

The charity is one of the first ever organisations to receive a share of the new Power Partners fund, worth £300,000 a year in total. The fund is available to community organisations across the South East, London and East of England that give advice to people in fuel poverty to help them reduce their energy bills or make community spaces more energy efficient through insulation, heating or lighting upgrades.

Power Partners is administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity, the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The next round of funding is due to be announced in the summer. For details on how to apply visit: https://www.cse.org.uk/projects/view/1356