Brightening & Lightening Community Space in Waterlooville

5 February 2024

Parts of Acorn Community Centre in Waterlooville were given a much-needed revamp by a group of eager volunteers from Havant based company, Lockheed Martin UK, who were proud to have achieved this with such passion and ease on their day off. The company, who have continued to make so much difference by volunteering in the Havant Borough for many years, are always keen to get involved in something that will improve support for local community members, and redecorating parts of this Centre was the ideal opportunity.

The Acorn Centre is in the heart of Wecock Farm and provides a safe and friendly environment for locals to enjoy the café, activities and in-home charity shop. The centre solely relies on self-sufficient funding and fundraising to maintain its service to local residents, which is of great importance due to it being one of the only places within the area that provides an open communal space. Wecock Farm is in the top 10% of the highest areas of indices of multiple deprivation and a high prevalence of mental health issues with no local services available, which inspired Acorn Community Centre to introduce a Wellbeing Room with a qualified therapist to offer free mental health support to the local community. Beth, Wellbeing Practitioner from Acorn Community Centre, explained the importance of their new Wellbeing Room:

“I think this is going to make a huge impact on people’s wellbeing and mental health because when you have a really calm room, you have a calm mind and that’s the impact it’s going to have on the people that use that room.”

Jagat Singh, Lead Volunteering Service Coordinator from Community First, arranged for Lockheed Martin UK to undertake this local community project, which saw new and fresh coatings of paint to the Centre’s new Wellbeing Room, kitchen/café area and part of the main hall, as well as general tidy. The execution of this day was also supported by Jagat’s fellow Coordinator, Olivia May.

Rachel Garvey, Lead Volunteer from Lockheed Martin UK, shared what volunteering means to her: “Just doing something selfless that will benefit others, giving back to a community that needs it. Making that commitment and the good feeling when you’ve done it. You help others and get to feel great in the process!”

The paint for this day was provided by the Acorn Community Centre, some of which was donated by B&Q

The Centre’s Wellbeing Room, which offers various free wellbeing services to the community, is a new initiative and the room itself needed some vibrancy to reflect the nature of its purpose. The kitchen and café area were also looking rather tired, but the team from Lockheed Martin UK made light work of giving it a well-deserved colour boost and blitz! They also found time to demonstrate and grow their painting and DIY skills, the ability of which was mixed amongst the group. There was even time for the team to start preparing and painting the main hall, starting from the bottom.

Mike Saxby, a Manpower contractor at Lockheed Martin UK, said: “I feel great; I feel like I’ve done something really good for the community.

Jolene Smith from Lockheed Martin UK shared her favourite part of the day: “It’s been great chatting and getting to know my colleagues more, and interacting with them.”

Geoff Butterfield from Lockheed Martin UK reflected on the impact of his volunteering: “A fresh lick of paint really helps to change the atmosphere, which will have a positive impact”

Sam Wright, a Graduate at Lockheed Martin UK, shared his thought about volunteering again: “Yes, why not, I’m enjoying it so far and it’s been great fun!”

Jason Baldwin, an Optamor contractor at Lockheed Martin UK, shared his experience of the day: “Brilliant! I’ve really enjoyed myself, it’s nice to see everyone working as a team. There’s more work to do and I’ll be coming back for more!”

Angela Smithers from Lockheed Martin UK said: “It’s really good to give back to the community and when we’re finished today, we’ll be able to see good results and our achievements.”

Before:

After:

By the end of the session, Lockheed Martin UK could not have been happier to have completed this redecoration project for Acorn Community Centre, whilst sharing their talents and working as a team. Scott Ellis, Health and Safety Manager from Acorn Community Centre, shared some final words:

“The health hub was very plain and basic, so it’s great that the room is being turned into a safe space where people who come will immediately feel happy, at ease and comfortable; the painting today is great! We can now use this space to help people begin to change their lives and seek help. The kitchen has been something we’ve needed doing for a long time, so when our customers come in it’s going to show how fresh, vibrant and clean it is, which is amazing. I just want to thank each and every one of the team for their patience in getting started and set up; they asked for what they needed and just got on – their working skills were just amazing! I’m really thankful and I really appreciate it.”

Clare Denton from Lockheed Martin UK shared her final thought saying:

“It feels good, teamwork is really good, everyone’s doing a little bit to make a big difference,

You can see the full montage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvPVTinKyh0

If you are interested in seeking an opportunity for your group, or yourself, please visit our website where you will find hundreds of volunteering roles across New Forest, Winchester, Fareham, Havant & East Hants: https://www.volunteerfirst.co.uk/

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