A fund-raising page has been set up to help pay for the extension of Ridgewood Village Hall.
The village hall committee has a range of events planned but is now supporting them through a GoFundMe page with an initial target of collecting £1000. The hope is to slowly build crowd-funding up to £25,000 over two years.
More than £250,000 is needed altogether and £100,000 of that has to be raised to match grant funding applications.
Vital community hub
Committee chair Karen Bedwell says the hall is a vital community hub at the south of Uckfield, sitting on the recreation ground and adjacent to the Millennium Green. It provides a base for activities and plays host to events.
Summer fairs, barn dances and Old Time Musical events helped pay for the hall to be built in the 1980s and it opened in 1989. At the time there was a population of 2,600 people in Ridgewood.
Since then it has been used by dance schools, mother and toddler groups, Ridgewood Bonfire Society, and for table tennis and private hire for parties and other fund-raisers such as jumble sales. Summer fairs are still held. A full list of 2018 users can be seen here.
Karen says the hall is going from strength to strength. It used for all ages and community groups and is a registered charity with a strong management committee of local people.
She adds: “We are producing our own newsletter, we have successful Christmas fairs, Easter Egg hunts, summer fairs, afternoon bingo, quiz nights, live band nights and family-friendly firework displays.”
But as Ridgewood continues to grow – more than 3,680 people now and 1,000 new homes to be built – the hall needs to be brought into the 21st Century.
Karen says more facilities are required for a part of a town that has modernised and grown substantially since the hall was built nearly 40 years ago.
Plans, which have been approved, include:
- Full disabled and wheelchair access to and around the building offering access to patio areas, recreation ground and storage units.
- A new kitchen that can serve refreshments to the new and improved recreation ground during the summer months and is accessible without disturbing the hall users.
- A meeting room (even the management committee is forced to meet elsewhere occasionally as the hall is so busy)
- Extension to the hall as it is too short for the short mat bowls mats
- A multi-use room that could be used for table tennis, or divided for changing rooms, or to hire out for small groups, such as art classes.
- A new sprung floor – the original one was second hand and desperately needs replacing
- Replacement of antiquated toilets and problem plumbing
- Bringing a disabled toilet inside the building
- Storage space inside the building for hirers
- Improved security
- A more attractive exterior with wooden cladding, bushes, trees, and a terraced area with outdoor summer seating.
If you would like to help boost the fund-raising please visit the GoFundMe page. Karen says any donation, large, or small, will help bring together a project that will provide and develop the potential of a community hub for another 50 years and beyond.
Events coming up at Ridgewood Village Hall include:
Find local organisations in our Uckfield Directory