From public toilet to community hub
In 2015 PCC Katy Bourne gave £5,000 to a group of people in Portslade with a dream of converting a disused park toilet into a community café giving the area, once rife with anti-social behaviour and vandalism, a much needed ‘Fresh Start’.
Since then, Fresh Start Portslade has become a hub for residents of all ages as they work with local community projects to provide free older people clubs, IT training, activities for children and local history projects.
Now building on their success they have been awarded a further £2,500 from the PCC’s Safer in Sussex Fund to continue and expand their free activities. This will see 1900 free sessional places available for Portslade people of all ages and backgrounds.
Mrs Bourne comments: “The fact that where the café is located was once a no-go area and a hot spot for anti-social behaviour but has now been turned around is wonderful news for residents. It tells me that local organisations and community groups care about – and are committed to – helping keep Sussex safe.
“The free activities and workplace training they offer have proven to increase community cohesion, reduce fear of crime and decrease social isolation for our more vulnerable residents. I’m delighted to support this unique community initiative which is changing this local area for the better.”
John Shepherd, Project Worker Fresh Start Portslade comments: “We are so grateful for Katy Bourne’s support and visit to our project back in 2015. Having the PCC support our project from day one installed us with confidence and ambition, gave credibility to the project, and thus was the springboard we needed to get things going. Almost five years on, we have gone from strength-to-strength and continue to make a difference to the community of Portslade, all thanks to that kick-start in 2015 and the PCC’s support.”