More than 100 volunteers – including England rugby star Marlie Packer – from home assistance provider HomeServe worked on the renovation of the Foxton Centre
The Deputy Leader of Preston Council Robert Boswell joined staff and volunteers at the reopening celebration
A community centre in Preston used to help serve the town’s homeless community re-opened today after more than 100 HomeServe volunteers – including an England World Cup rugby star – teamed up to give it a much-needed makeover.
The bathrooms and interior décor at the Foxton Centre, on Knowsley Street, Preston, have been revamped over the course of the last seven days by volunteers – including engineers and office staff – who answered the call.
And today the centre re-opened with a special event attended by staff and volunteers from the centre as well as local councilors including Robert Bosworth, the Deputy Leader of Preston City Council.
The work is all part of HomeServe’s ‘BuildServe’ project, in which the firm’s People ‘Dare to Care’ and volunteer to make a difference in the communities in which they live and work.
And the incredible response from HomeServe’s People made it the company’s biggest ever volunteering project.
HomeServe Brand Director John Greaves added: “It’s incredible to see the work that our People have managed to do in just seven days and it’s great to see the centre re-opening today. We’ve had volunteers from all over the business here – including our COO Richard Shepherd who spent a day painting – so it really has been a team effort.
“Our relationship with the Foxton Centre goes back many months and this project came about because one of our People was volunteering here and realised that it could do with our help. The response from our People was incredible and we’re so proud of what they have achieved.
“Making a difference in the communities in which our People live and work is part of who we are as a company. Because of the work our People have done, this centre will be able to better serve this community.”
The Foxton Centre is particularly important to the company as it is one of the sites served by the Midland Langar Seva Society (MLSS) – a charity, supported by HomeServe, which helps to feed, clothe and support city residents needing short-term support as well as homeless people in the region.
The centre works with vulnerable people of all ages in Preston, supporting their needs with kids clubs, homeless drop-ins and allotments projects.
Staff also work with young people to identify those most at risk of becoming involved with drugs, alcohol, early sexual activity and gang crime.
Foxton Centre chief executive Jeff Marsh said: “Our relationship with HomeServe goes back a long way and it’s something we are incredibly proud of and grateful for.
“Our building – in particular the toilets and bathrooms – really needed work but it wasn’t something we could ever have afforded to do.
“The building has been transformed and it really is fantastic to see the difference. If you’re out on the streets, you can now come here and get a shower, get clean and that will make a huge difference to the lives of the people we work with.
“This centre relies on volunteering from the local community and we have been blown away by the response from the team at HomeServe. Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed. We really can’t thank them enough.”