Run-down flat transformed into new community hub

Workers at Belgrave Court, Leyland, which is being  transformed into a community hub
Workers at Belgrave Court, Leyland, which is being transformed into a community hub

Popular TV show Changing Rooms was recreated in Leyland last week as a team transformed a tired flat into a new community hub.

Staff and customers from the Places for People Housing Association teamed up with Howards Decorators of Farington to bring the run-down base in Belgrave Court back to life.

But rather than remaining as a flat, the spruced-up space will be used for an activities and education suite, to deliver health and wellbeing surgeries, and for local policing teams to meet the public.

Kathryn Evans, support service manager for an individual support team within Places for People, explained: “My role is to manage a team of support staff who work within four supported accommodation housing projects for young people and families.

“There’s plenty for our team to do; for instance, we offer accommodation for young people and families who can stay for a period of up to two years, and all of our customers have support needs.

“Belgrave Court is a combined accommodation and floating support scheme for 16 to 25-year-olds in Leyland, and the accommodation consists of six self–contained flats.

“The idea was to take a flat out of service and convert it into an office, a customer activity suite and community hub.

“It will be used to deliver support sessions as well act as an activities and training suite.

“A programme of customer activities and training sessions will be introduced in partnership with local organisations delivering health and wellbeing surgeries.

“Local policing teams will also be able to use the office as a base at times.

“We are very passionate about putting something back into the community, and there is the possibility of some volunteering and apprenticeships being developed for young people in the future.”

She added: “We held a Community Involvement Day last week with a ‘Changing Rooms’ theme, for the tired-looking flat to be re-decorated with help from Howards Decorating.

“Staff and customers put their DIY skills to the test at the same time as learning new skills, which was really valuable.”