Jubilee Life Centre in Grantham expanding

Tutor David Sykes helps two students with conversational English
Tutor David Sykes helps two students with conversational English

Work starts next week to extend a busy Grantham community base after the project won vital funding.

Jubilee Church Life Centre has been awarded grants worth almost £100,000 towards the cost of creating new meeting rooms and other facilities at the premises in London Road.

Volunteer Les Jones with Andrew Higgins and Michael Rands in the canvas prints workshop at Jubilee Church Life Centre

Volunteer Les Jones with Andrew Higgins and Michael Rands in the canvas prints workshop at Jubilee Church Life Centre

The funding boost comes from the county council and WREN, a not-for-profit business that awards grants to community projects from landfill taxes.

The work on the first floor of the one-time Co-op department store is also being supported by members of the Jubilee Christian Fellowship and is due to be completed in the spring.

The project involves total refurbishment of rooms which have not been used for some years.

New floors are being installed, walls replastered and wiring renewed to create a tea bar, toilet and two large meeting rooms.

The substantial building at the junction with St Catherine’s Road, which in the past has also seen use as a bar, gym and Chinese restaurant, was acquired by the church three years ago.

Since then it has been transformed into a busy centre for a wide range of social and community activities.

Pat Whittaker, who is senior leader at the church with husband Eric, says the project will provide much needed space for expansion of existing projects and the start of new ones.

A club which helps non-English speakers has proved tremendously popular and more space is needed to accommodate the more than 40 people who attend all-day sessions on a Tuesday, supported by up to eight volunteers.

Young people supported by Grantham Additional Needs Federation (GANF)will be able to join in a wider range of activities in the enlarged premises.

At present, volunteers and staff from Sandon and Ambergate schools work with youngsters aged 14 to 19 on a range of activities including cooking, canvas printing, photography and crafts.

Another popular project which aims to help integrate young people new to this country through music is also set to grow.

Mrs Whittaker said: “Our aim is to help people engage with the community and feel they belong. We can give some the opportunity to learn so that they can integrate better by improving social skills, through volunteering or employment, while others may simply be lonely.

“We have had amazing support from so many people in Grantham and now have more than 50 volunteers.

“Funding cuts have put pressure on the provision of some facilities and we believe we can help people by filling a gap in social provision.”