Lincoln volunteers open refurbished centre

The Lincoln branch of community charity Voluntary Centre Services (VCS) has revamped its new premises and is inviting local groups to use the space.

As previously reported the exhausted hall on Tentercroft Street, Lincoln, received a timely makeover, courtesy of local businesses and organisations, last year.

The building, which had been targeted by thieves and vandals, was taken under the wing of the VCS team after a move from their 11-year home at the Healthy Hub on Beaumont Fee.

In celebration of the move and renovation, around 80 people and members of the Civic Party attended the official launch on Friday, January 31.

Lincoln’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Yvonne Bodger, and her Consort listened to speeches and thanks from the team, and assisted in cutting the ribbon and cake.

Councillor Yvonne Bodger, who was on the board of directors at Lincolnshire YMCA for several years, said: “I truly know what volunteers do for the community, and I know what a great difference they make.

“Through my work, I have met people through Prince’s Trust, through the Duke of Edinborough Award, I’ve met elderly ladies and youngsters. Volunteering can be such a valuable experience and a way into jobs.”

VCS Lincoln recruits around 1,000 volunteers every year and refers them to volunteering opportunities in over 500 different local charities, organisations and groups.

Among groups benefiting from the new venue are The Alzheimers Society for Lincolnshire, who will be moving their ‘Singing for the Brain’ choir meetings to the main hall on February 10.

Paula Colburn, Alzheimer’s Society Services Manager for Lincolnshire, said: “We’re really excited to be moving to our new home at the Volunteer Centre, which will mean that we can accommodate more people.

“The new venue is also on one level, which is great for access and it also has some free parking.”

The Voluntary Centre Services Area Coordinator for Lincoln, Dianne Slapp, added: “We are really encouraged that people are finding us, especially since we moved venue.

“Since moving in and refurbishing, we have the community room that’s fully operational. People can book that space for the local community. We are using the space for a lot of networking events and meetings too.”

Jean Roads, the disability advisor for VCS, has been working at the centre for almost 11 years.

She said: “The building was a mess when we first arrived, but I could see beyond that.

“Now that it’s up and running I’m absolutely over the moon. We have big hopes for the future.

“The space is already being used and means so much to so many organisations. Anyone wanting to volunteer in Lincoln should certainly go for it.

“A lot of people who sit at home and do nothing could be out there meeting people and doing something great for the community.”