A community centre which has become established as the hub of activities on an Old Colwyn housing estate has been given a new lease of life.
The premises on the Tan Lan estate underwent a “90-Minute Makeover” involving volunteers, tradesmen and staff of Cartrefi Conwy, the housing association now responsible for housing matters which formerly came under the local authority.
It was officers of Cartrefi Conwy who organised the intensive session at the centre in response to a plea from the residents, led by Jenny Hughes and Sylvia Lavender. They are, respectively, secretary and chair of the busy Tenants and Residents’ Association, and both serve as tenants’ representatives on the Board of the association.
The centre first opened about 25 years ago and the council later installed a mobile classroom from Ysgol y Creuddyn in Penrhyn Bay alongside. About five years ago a link was built between the two buildings.
“The centre is very heavily used by all sorts of groups, so it is inevitable that it tends to get to look a bit shabby,” said Sylvia, who has lived in the 400-house estate for 35 years.
“We asked Cartrefi Conwy to help us, and they immediately agreed to organise this 90-Minute Makeover. That is where we notice a big difference now that Cartrefi Conwy has taken over – they are much more approachable than the council used to be and listen to what we say,” she said.
Christine Mockridge, the Cartrefi Conwy Neighbourhood Co-ordinator responsible for Tan Lan, said Cartrefi Conwy undertake about two or three such makeovers each year throughout the county.
“Apart from carrying out work which clearly needs to be done it brings people together and helps to foster the community spirit,” she said.
At the Tan Lan centre volunteers from various groups were joined by Cartrefi Conwy staff and all donned white overalls to give the entire interior of the premises a new coat of paint in record time.
The materials were all donated by ICI, with which the association works in partnership on many projects, and also on hand to offer advice were professional painters and decorators from the Bell Group UK, who recently won a contract to paint almost 800 of the association’s properties.
Among the volunteers was Fflur Roberts, who holds sessions at the centre for Standing Start, a group which offers help and advice to parents on a range of subjects.
“We have been coming here for about four years and so we felt that we should come along to help with the makeover. It will be brighter and more attractive for the users,” she said.