A new local charity, Meads (Eastbourne) Community Centre, has rallied local volunteers to return St. John’s Parish Hall into a safe state for its users to return to, after the Hall, in the centre of Meads, was recently closed due to a number of health and safety concerns.

Over the course of a fortnight, volunteers have installed protection against falling timber, tiles, and stonework, both inside and outside the hall. Under the supervision of a local, qualified electrician, also volunteering his time, they have installed smoke, fire, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors, along with fire alarm buttons, fire exit signs, and emergency lighting. The project was completed just in time for Christmas and the hall is now ready for the PCC of St. John’s to reopen for bookings.

Readers will remember the recent online petition launched to gauge community support for the hall. With over eight hundred households and individuals signing it already, there will be plenty of smiles this Christmas, knowing that their beloved venue is open again. To add you name to the petition, go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-meads-parish-hall

Taking part in, and helping to manage, the work, was Mitch Peacock, trustee of the charity. “We are delighted to have made the hall safe for use again. Our longer-term vision is to takeover the running of the hall in order to provide Meads with a welcoming, inclusive, and up-to-date community centre, with similar purposes to those envisioned after the site, originally gifted to the community by the Duke of Devonshire in the 19th century, ceased to be for a school, and was used as a Parish Room. The current hall, built in the early 20th Century, was for continuing the same function of a parish room, within a larger footprint, after, ironically, the original building was becoming dilapidated.

The Meads Community Association have been fundamental to the efforts over the past year to investigate a solution to the PCC wish to dispose of the hall. After extensive due diligence, by a Steering Group of volunteers, a handover to the new charity appears to give the best outcome for the community as a whole, although agreement on the shape of that handover is still a matter of debate.”

The story of the current works has been told through the Facebook page Save Meads Parish Hall which can be found at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61553843926055