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Revamp work on community centre starts

Work to enhance and upgrade the facilities on Haverhill’s Chalkstone Estate is well underway.

It was recently announced that Chalkstone Exchange (CHEX) had been granted £50,000, raised by Healthintend through the Health Lottery, over a two-year period to make advancements.

The plans include a revamp to the community cafe, which intends to host parent and toddler groups and be a place for people with unseen illnesses such as fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease and chronic pain to visit with their families.

Some of the planned improvements include colour change lighting that control the mood, a door to separate the toilet from the cafe and a hatch for the kitchen.

A number of odd jobs will also be carried out, comprising of new paintwork and general cleaning among other duties.

With the renovation phase now up and running, Sharon Gower, CHEX project manager, has insisted that there are exciting times ahead for the area.

“We have had our first steering group meeting with representatives from each of the groups that will be running at the centre,” she said.

“It went really well and everyone seemed to be buzzing at the prospect of this coming to fruition.

“We are excited about things like the colour change lighting. That will be of big benefit to our unseen group.

“The new colour of paint for the walls is also bright because we are aiming to brighten up people’s lives by making it a positive place to be.

“To see it all start to come together is really exciting.”

Previously, there was no date set for the grand unveiling, with organisers only confirming that it would take place some time this summer.

However, while Sharon was unable to pinpoint an exact day, she was hopeful that the centre would be ready for use between the end of next month and late July.

“There is still quite a bit to do, but things are coming along nicely,” she added.

“Certain bits need to be ordered still and some of the staff need training.

“Even so, we hope that everything is going to be concluded between late June and late July.

“Fingers crossed, the parent and toddler group will begin as soon as the cafe opens.”

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